United hunt for defender drags on as transfer deadline looms

United hunt for defender drags on as transfer deadline looms

Former Manchester City striker Craig Bellamy questions Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho's transfer strategy after missing out on his top defensive targets.

"He's very disappointed about his World Cup", Pochettino told reporters (via Goal).

Jose Mourinho has given a cryptic answer when asked whether his Manchester United team can challenge for the Premier League title this season by simply saying people will see by November.

United are keen to buy a centre-back and it's understood they are interested in Bayern Munich's Jerome Boateng.

United contacted Atletico Madrid about Diego Godin but it quickly became evident that the move was a no-go, while an official offer was not made for Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld.

The disagreement between the team result in the increased interest in the Leicester City defender Harry Maguire but a fee of 75 million euros similar to that of Alderweireld put United off the deal.

Barca are said to have seen a bid involving towering defender Mina, midfielder Andre Gomes and around £45million rejected for a player that has had his ups and downs with Mourinho.

After a dismal two years in charge of United, Mourinho has come under fire from the Old Trafford faithful, with his dour tactics drawing criticism from fans and commentators alike.

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There could be more competition up front this term, though, as Daniel Sturridge appears to be rediscovering his old form after some fine pre-season displays.

The midfielder, who shone as France won the World Cup in Russian Federation last month, is reported to have told his team-mates he is desperate to leave for Spain.

"They return on Monday, train Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and today so you can imagine that they are not really fit and ready", he said, although he was happy that Chilean Alexis Sanchez was raring to go after a full pre-season.

A potential sticking point is that Mourinho is not keen to include unsettled winger Anthony Martial in any deal as he does not want to sell the Frenchman to a top-flight rival.

United, meanwhile, have no intention of selling Paul Pogba (above).

Regardless of who's to blame, the Portuguese boss must now work with the players he's got to achieve a respectable season.

It leaves Mourinho to head into the new season with the five centre-backs already at his disposal - Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof and Marcos Rojo. Diogo Dalot is still just 19 and it is hard seeing him upsetting Antonio Valencia too much this season.

With the transfer window set to shut down on Thursday, time is the most essential factor here, and both clubs are expected to find a way through on deadline day. But he will be there to fill the numbers, as Joel Pereira left.

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