Premier League: Will pre-season issues impact Manchester United?
Manchester United's boss Jose Mourinho seems worried with the way the club's pre-season tour of USA is shaping up. Since several United players participated in semis and final of the recently concluded FIFA World Cup 2018, Jose does not have his main assets at his disposal. He also refused to answer whether United would challenge for the Premier League title.
Jose is concerned that most of the first team players, who will be in the starting XI for their opener on August 10, are not in USA for training after fulfilling their World Cup duties. Having less players during the pre-season training isn't allowing Jose to get a look on how will he shape the side. This has left him frustrated.
United signed three players in the summer transfer window. Mid-fielder Fred, full-back Diogo Dalot and third choice keeper Lee Grant are the new faces. But Jose recently opined that he would like another 2 additions. It is understood that, he wants a center-back and an attacking player. With the transfer window set to close on August 9, time is running out.
With Anthony Martial not happy at the club, Jose is open to the idea of selling the Frenchman. But then he needs a player to replace him. In defense, he allowed Daley Blind to leave the club and could also sanction an exit for Matteo Darmian. With Marcos Rojo facing injury woes, he needs a strong defender. If that happens, Rojo could be sold.
Four central defenders are currently said to be Jose's target. This list includes Harry Maguire, Leonardo Bonucci, Jerome Boateng and Toby Alderweireld. The club needs to act swiftly in deciding whom to bid for and seal a deal quickly. Also the likes of Perisic and Arnautovic are being linked as attacking options. But Martial's situation is a stumbling block.
This is a crucial season for Jose after his side finished second behind rivals Manchester City, last season. He needs a trophy and probably the Premier League title will be the best answer. Does he have the squad to do that? With other top teams strengthening their options, United will find it difficult, but expect them to have a real say this term.