Jose Mourinho hints at Paul Pogba signing for Manchester United
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said Friday the club will wrap up its offseason transfer business by signing a "very good midfield player" before the opening weekend of the Premier League.
Whether that player is Paul Pogba remains to be seen.
The France midfielder has been heavily linked with a world-record transfer to United, which sold him to Juventus for less than 1 million pounds in 2012, and the move is reported to be close.
Asked if he was confident that Pogba would join United, Mourinho said: "Pogba is a Juventus player until officially he isn't. We stay like this.
"Honestly, the market closes on Aug. 31, but I think my club is trying to do everything to close our market before Aug. 14. Normally next week we will have our squad closed."
United's first match in the Premier League is against Bournemouth on Aug. 14. Europe's summer transfer window closes on Aug. 31.
Mourinho already has signed striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan and center back Eric Bailly.
"I think our market was good," Mourinho said. "We decided to bring in four players, not 10; we decided to bring four that are Man United level.
"We have a young central defender that needs time to be a top one but he has potential and we believe a lot in him. We bought a creative player, a player we know the qualities he has. We bought a super striker. And we are going to get a very good midfield player."
United starts the season with a match against Leicester in the Community Shield at Wembley Stadium on Sunday. The annual game pits the current Premier League champion (Leicester) against the winner of last season's FA Cup (United).
Mourinho believes some of his players will be undercooked going into the new season, pointing to the canceled friendly against Manchester City in China last month that denied members of his squad some crucial game time.
The Portuguese coach also said it is taking time to change the mindset of his players after United's two years under his predecessor, Louis van Gaal.
"It's a difficult situation to change the dynamic," Mourinho said. "It would be easier for me to have 20 new players and to start from zero. For two years, they had some principles of play that are not my principles of play, clearly are not. But the players are players, and without losing their identity, they always try to adapt to what the manager wants.
"Of course, after two years of work, there are things with their brain that are automatic, that is difficult to change ... but step by step, my team is going to be my team."