Friday, 17 August, 2018

Manchester United v Leicester City

Barcelona transfer news Man Utd Jose Mourinho Barcelona transfer news Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho is at odds with Paul Pogba
Cary Erickson | 10 August, 2018, 11:05

"The manager tried to sign a centre-back, wasn't allowed to do it and he's nearly been left with us".

Fresh from a well-deserved break after winning the World Cup with France, Pogba has linked up again with his United team-mates at the Aon Training Complex this week.

Manchester United begins its season off on the right foot, with World Cup-winner Paul Pogba scoring alongside Romelu Lukaku.

Although they are in the market for a centre-back, the Red Devils now appear to have withdrawn from the race.

Harry Maguire was a genuine target, and although no progress was ever made with Leicester, United are still admirers of the England player.

A deal for Alderweireld was quickly considered too complicated, with Tottenham playing hard ball early on, while other targets were considered too short-term.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has been one of the more outspoken critics of the shortened window with time running out for Spurs to make a single signing this summer.

José Mourinho has been left frustrated by the lack of a centre-back arriving this summer, and understandably so given their options and the money available to sign one.

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"It was more down to Mourinho's pragmatism and I'm not sure how much longer the players will put up with it".

"But it's the same conversation as with (Ashley) Young, (Marouane) Fellaini, (Jesse) Lingard, it's the same".

Speaking at Carrington, Mourinho said: "If they feel they can help us, 20 minutes, ten minutes half an hour... I am happy with all the players at the moment".

"I said that during pre-season - it looked like I was saying something absolutely out of order, it looked like I was saying something insane - but I repeat, pre-season is hard when you don't have your players to work with".

There was no question of Pogba being allowed to leave and there remains great support for Anthony Martial at the club, with every inquiry about him over the summer being met with a firm refusal.

United used a three-at-the-back system regularly during the pre-season tour of the United States and could use it against Claude Puel's side rather than the usual 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1.

The Portuguese went some way to countering suggestions he is unhappy with his squad at his pre-match press conference. I like my players and my group. "I like to work with my players".