Manchester United are set to begin their pre-season schedule with a friendly against LA Galaxy today in Los Angeles, which means that José Mourinho got to sit down already for his first official press conference of the year. Amongst the many topics he had to address was the Nemanja Matić rumor, with the Chelsea midfielder heavily linked to a reunion with his former boss and making the ex-Chelsea player contingent at United three-men strong with Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku already there.
Alas, Mourinho’s response was a rather standard one, though it’s Mourinho and so we can always play the game of mind games (even when he himself isn’t doing anything of the sort). I mean, do we really think he has actual “respect” (not just the token PR respect) for Abramovich and Conte as he claims? None of the possible answers would surprise me.
“I can't say any word about a player who is a Chelsea player, I can't, it's difficult, it was a little bit of the same with Morata, we have to respect the player, the club, the owner, the manager, I don't want to be disrespectful, and be speaking about the player.”
Well, theoretically he could say they are not interested, but that would be no fun, right?
In any case, José’s not quite happy with United’s transfer business still, despite once again breaking the world transfer fee record. So definitely expect some action, either around Matić or Fabinho (who doesn’t appear to be for sale) or whoever else.
"We don't have our door closed, we are not happy with just Lukaku and Lindelof, we need more. We wanted four, so I would say 50% of the job done, but I don't want to say that because everything it's so difficult, I would not like to be in Ed Woodward's position negotiating because everything is really difficult.”
"So maybe we don't get two, we get one, but we need one player to give us more options, the squad needs that balance, we have players that belong to the squad but cannot play for the next three or four months, Marcos Rojo, Ashley Young, Luke Shaw, if Zlatan stays we have three or four players that only by the end of the year can be back to football.”
"So we need two more players I would say, at least one, but I don't want to say Matic or any other name because I don't think it's correct."
-José Mourinho; source: Manchester Evening News
With multiple reports confirming that Matić will not be on the Chelsea plane heading to Asia for the pre-season tour next week, Chelsea will look stay similarly busy in the transfer market as well. (Or maybe this is the opportunity that Lewis Baker needs?)