As January comes close, discussions start once again for the transfers United will make during the period. The manager differently from the summer’s transfer market seems calmer and says that is happy with the team he has at the moment. With Memphis and Schneiderlin likely to join Everton on permanent deals, United aren’t expecting to make any important moves and the club has been heavily linked with defenders rather than midfielders or strikers.
Discussing who may join United in January, Mourinho insisted that he wanted to keep the same team but on the other hand, he stated that the players are free to make their choices if they want to leave:
“I’m quiet and calm. I’ll see what happens. As I have said, I like to keep my squad the same, but as I told you and I repeat, as a manager I never feel that I have the right to stop people trying to be happier and trying to give a different direction to their careers.”
Knowing his transfer story during the winter period, we aren’t expecting any big moves as in the teams he has previously managed the Portuguese has done the business in August and is usually quiet as he thinks that the moves he has made are the right ones and no changes are needed to be made. Besides this, it has to be said that things are slightly different at United. Despite being in a good form Jones and Rojo aren’t convincing enough for Jose and with Bailly injured and possibly joining Ivory Coast for the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in January, United may look for a solution and the media suggests that Benfica defender Victor Lindelof is Jose’s Chosen One. However, in a recent interview he made it clear that he fully trusts both Jones and Rojo and it is pleasant for the manager to see them improve:
“In relation to Marcos and Phil Jones, I’m really pleased with both. Marcos, he was a player considered by many as someone without the quality to be a Manchester United player.
“Phil was [seen as] a stampede, injury-prone player without the conditions to be back to the good Phil Jones of the past, so I was very happy for them.”
Scouts from the club were sent to watch the 21 years old during Benfica vs Sporting Lisbon but Mourinho denied that he has a clear target but was open to a possible transfer if certain conditions are fulfilled:
“If the conditions are right for the club and that moment arrives during the month of January, then we will have to react. Let’s see what happens but at the moment, if you ask me if I am waiting for someone to be here on 1 January or if we are chasing some player because we want to have a new player here on 1 January, not at all.”
Knowing how Jose loves to handle transfers, if there are certain targets he has set, we will for sure hear from him. The main problem is that Mourinho doesn’t seem convincing in what he has said. He loves playing mind games with the press and there’s definitely a chance that he might not be telling the truth. According to Sky Sports, United have held talks with Benfica defender Lindelof meaning that Jose is willing to make changes in his current team.
Here’s what he had to say about the situation at the moment:
“In Portugal, the front pages say every player in Portugal now is coming to Manchester United. It’s normal, a few seasons ago every player from Portugal was going to Chelsea, going to Real Madrid, it’s normal with the connection.”
“But I keep saying the same, I like my squad. I believe more in the summer market than in the winter window. More time, more choice, I think it’s better. But let’s see what happens.”
Regarding the Portugal link, Mourinho is somehow preventing previous issues he had at Real Madrid dividing the team into two parts. This caused a lot of issues as the Portuguese lost the dressing by losing the power on his players. That’s why he is being careful in his statements so it won’t affect anyone at the club. On the other side, like every club United is looking forward to making some moves but Jose isn’t willing to make any big signings and isn’t giving much to the press either:
“If we buy a player we buy a player, we’re not buying two, three or four. If we open the door for someone to leave it’s not because we push him, it’s because he really wants to leave. But for me, I am more than happy to keep the players.”
Maybe these are pure excuses to stop the media from publishing news but it’s a fact that the only clear target right now seems to be Lindelof. Things are clearer in the departures and Jose is saying it directly that he feels sad about the players that haven’t had the chance to prove themselves to him:
“I still have some bad feelings towards myself because I didn’t give a real chance to everyone, there are some positions in our squad where we have overbooked.”
“To be honest, people like Ashley Young and Memphis Depay, I didn’t really give them a run of matches to play, to prove. So I have this little bad feeling.”
The media can do the talking but feels that they are a bit frustrated for not knowing what’s happening inside something that Sir Alex Ferguson would always do. They did get used to with a messy situation under David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal but with the situation getting back to the old one, this isn’t pleasant for them but surely is for United fans. Jose promised four players in the summer and signed the four of them, making him the right man in the eyes of every United supporter.
That’s what Old Trafford has been missing in the past three years and with that dictator’s figure coming back, fans are definitely enjoying how things are going so far. The media are falling for United and Mourinho is simply making fun of them.