Gary Neville in support of Jose Mourinho as he talks of ‘World War III’

Date published: Friday 10th August 2018 10:41

Gary Neville believes Jose Mourinho was right into trying to bring in another central defender at Manchester United.

Mourinho was hoping to add at least one new centre-back and reports today have suggested that Raphael Varane was his intended target, but despite the club apparently backing a £100million transfer, Real Madrid would not entertain the prospect of the France star leaving.

Mourinho then suggested moves for Harry Maguire, Jerome Boateng, Yerry Mina and Diego Godin, but those transfer targets were knocked back by the board for varying reasons leaving Mourinho with the defence, plus Dalot that he finished second with last season.

“I don’t think the centre-back pairings are good enough so I do think Jose is right,” Neville said at the launch of Cadbury’s Premier League partnership.

“They need a strong centre-back pairing. I think they have capable defenders but I’m not sure there is a great pair there.

“That’s always a problem. ‘Who’s the back four?’ I don’t know. They have signed a good right-back (Diogo Dalot) but he’s not quite fit yet.

“They did need one or two centre-backs and that worries me in terms of them winning the league. But I do think they have a great squad still but they are one or two centre-backs short.”

The former United full-back also says the tension between the manager and the board is evident after the Portuguese boss was only allowed to add Fred, Diogo Dalot and back-up keeper Lee Grant.

“There is definitely tension there that you can sense between the board and Jose,” added Neville, who will be analysing tonight’s Man Utd v Leicester opener for Sky Sports.

“He doesn’t feel that he is being supported and the board probably feel as though the signings he wants aren’t quite right. There is definitely that tension.

“You can’t speak negatively about a team that is winning, so the ultimate thing is that they win and they win well.

“If the game goes against Manchester United, they lose 3-0 at home and the centre-backs make mistakes… I’ll be on television straight after, what am I going to say?

“World War Three is going to break out if that happens.”


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