Manchester United did not allow Jose Mourinho to sign the players he wanted this summer due to disagreements over his targets, a report claims.
After sealing deals for Fred, Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant by early July, last season’s Premier League runners-up were unable to add further despite the Portuguese’s explicit desire to bring in two more players.
Mourinho warned it could be a “difficult season” if United did not bring in at least one more face, with centre-back the main focus in a market that was inflated by last summer’s deals.
But the writing was on the wall for Mourinho’s recruitment hopes by the morning of deadline day, when he spoke of being “not confident” that his club would deliver any of his targets.
According to the Guardian, the United board were not convinced by the players Mourinho shortlisted, which in most cases involved spending upwards of £70m on players that would not improve on what they already had.
Harry Maguire and Toby Alderweireld were both linked, as were Jerome Boateng and Yerry Mina, but none of the quarter arrived on deadline day.
United also apparently felt that a £75million outlay over four years on Alderweireld, 29, was too steep, especially when he could be purchased for £25million next year.
Yerry Mina was another target but United refused to pay what they viewed as excessive agents fees, while interest in Jerome Boateng was tempered by concerns over the 29-year-old’s injury record.
The report goes on to claim that “there has been only one conversation between Woodward and the Tottenham Hotspur chairman, Daniel Levy, throughout the summer” and that it involved Levy calling Woodward to ask about Anthony Martial – a player Woodward had no intention of selling.
However, Woodward and the Red Devils’ board were willing to make an exception in the pursuit of Diego Godin due to his £18million buy-out clause, but Godin was reluctant to leave Spain.
On the contrary, both ESPN and The Sun claim Woodward and the United board had laid out a huge fee for Mourinho to get France and Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane.
They were prepared to back manager Mourinho with a £100million bid for a world-class defender this summer, the reports claim.
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