Mourinho frustrated over transfers

AFP
Jose Mourinho did not expect to add to his squad before the close of the English Premier League transfer window yesterday on an unusually quiet deadline day for English clubs.
AFP
Reuters

New Chelsea goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga, who transfered from Spain’s Athletic Bilbao, poses with the team’s jersey at Stamford Bridge, London, yesterday.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho did not expect to add to his squad before the close of the English Premier League transfer window yesterday on an unusually quiet deadline day for English clubs.

For the first time the EPL deadline has been moved forward to the day before the season kicks off when United hosts Leicester City today.

Unlike in England, the window for the rest of Europe’s leading leagues doesn’t close until later in August, meaning EPL clubs have faced even more inflated prices when buying from the continent.

Chelsea shattered the world-record fee for a goalkeeper with an 80-million euro (US$92 million) swoop for Athletic Bilbao’s Kepa Arrizabalaga on Wednesday to replace Belgian international Thibaut Courtois, who has joined European champion Real Madrid.

As part of that deal, Croatia midfielder Mateo Kovacic has also joined Chelsea on a season-long loan deal.

However, there has been little other late movement from the top six clubs with Mourinho in particular frustrated at missing out on a host of targets to bolster his options in central defense.

Harry Maguire, who could face United for Leicester today, Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng and Toby Alderweireld of Tottenham Hotspur were all linked with United, while Atletico Madrid’s Diego Godin emerged as a late target yesterday. But Mourinho now says he is focusing on the players already at his disposal.

“The information I have is no,” said Mourinho when asked if he would be adding to his squad.

“I’m not confident, I’m not confident and the market closes today so it is time at least for me to stop thinking about the market because the market will be closed.”

Liverpool looks like the big winner of the window as it has emerged as second favorite for the title behind champion Manchester City. But Liverpool did its business early in splashing more than 170 million pounds (US$220 million) on Brazil goalkeeper Alisson Becker and midfielders Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri.

Despite slashing a club-record 60 million pounds on signing Riyad Mahrez, City has enjoyed a quiet window.

Australian teenager Daniel Arzani joined the English champion from sister club Melbourne City yesterday but is expected to be sent on loan to Celtic.

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.

The move was designed to ease disruption in the first few weeks of the campaign after a number of high-profile players, including Alexis Sanchez, Philippe Coutinho and Virgil van Dijk, missed matches at the start of last season due to transfer speculation.

“If you compare with Europe, you are at a complete disadvantage and it does not help the clubs in the Premier League,” Pochettino said on Spurs’ tour of the United States.

But Pochettino insisted he is happy with his squad. “We have a very good squad, with very good players and it is very difficult to add players to that,” he said.

Elsewhere, Everton is hopeful of tying up a deal for Barcelona center-back Yerry Mina, who scored three times for Colombia at the World Cup, and Brazilian winger Bernard.

West Ham signed Spanish striker Lucas Perez from Arsenal to complete a near 100-million pounds summer spend.


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