Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has said he hopes one target from the list of five options he gave the club will arrive before the 9 August transfer deadline.
Mourinho made the comment during a tetchy 10-minute post-match news conference following United’s 4-1 International Champions Cup defeat by Liverpool at Ann Arbor, in which he also said:
- If he was a fan, he would not have paid to watch these teams
- The match against Liverpool “gave me nothing at all”
- The referee thought he was officiating a baseball game
- Antonio Valencia had “too much holiday” and returned in poor condition
Mourinho’s list of transfer targets is understood to relate to central defence, an area in which he is particularly keen to strengthen.
United have been linked with Leicester’s Harry Maguire and Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld, while Mourinho has expressed an interest in Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane, Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng and Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar.
The Portuguese dismissed any chance of making the second signing he feels he needs.
“I would like two more players. I don’t think I’m going to have two,” he said. “I think it’s possible I’m going to have one.
“I gave my club a list of five names a few months ago. I wait to see if it’s possible to have one of these players.”
‘This game gave me nothing at all’
Mourinho warned at the start of his side’s pre-season trip to the United States that his team could suffer some bad defeats.
Andreas Pereira’s fine free-kick cancelled out Sadio Mane’s penalty in the first half of their latest fixture, but Liverpool ran out winners as Daniel Sturridge, Sheyi Ojo and Xherdan Shaqiri found the target for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
This was United’s first loss of their tour, although Mourinho pointed out the vast majority of the players on show will not be part of his plans for the season ahead.
He said: “This is not even 30% of my squad. What about Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic and Antonio Valencia? This is our squad.”
Mourinho revealed defender Eric Bailly was not due to play but stepped in because of Chris Smalling’s withdrawal with an injury sustained in the warm-up.
The United manager said: “Eric just felt it wasn’t fair to the other guys to throw another kid on the pitch.
“We are trying to play these matches as best we can and to avoid ugly defeats but this one gave me nothing at all.”
‘The referee thought it was baseball’
In front of a crowd of 101,254 at Michigan Stadium – the biggest in the United States – two penalties contributed to United’s defeat.
Mourinho was furious at the first, in particular, and spoke at length to the referee to explain his frustration.
He said: “The referees came by mistake. They were called by the baseball federation and thought it was baseball but found out it was soccer.
“The atmosphere in the stadium was good but if I was them I wouldn’t come. I wouldn’t spend my money to see these teams.”
Tickets for the match started at £58.
Mourinho denies Sanchez is unhappy
In a team lacking key senior figures, one established name who did start was Alexis Sanchez.
But the Chilean cut a frustrated figure throughout, repeatedly complaining about poor distribution.
Mourinho, though, denied Sanchez is unhappy.
“Alexis is the only attacking player we have,” said the United manager. “We don’t have wingers or strikers. He is the only one who is here and he is trying his best with the frustration of someone who wants more.”
United complete their five-match tour against Real Madrid in Miami on Tuesday.
From the squad that started the trip, Mourinho has lost Valencia and Nemanja Matic to injury, while Anthony Martial has returned home for the birth of his child.
Speaking about Valencia, Mourinho told MUTV: “Antonio came from holiday, I think too much holiday for him, his condition was not good when he was back.”
Smalling and Luke Shaw are doubtful for the game against Champions League winners Real.