Jose Mourinho on collision course with Ed Woodward over Manchester United transfers

Jose Mourinho and Ed Woodward
Jose Mourinho and Ed Woodward

Jose Mourinho has been angered at Manchester United’s lack of progress in what he considers to be a crucial transfer window for the club.

Having explicitly requested that all senior-squad signings be complete ahead of pre-season training, the Old Trafford manager was bemused to see Ed Woodward follow the British & Irish Lions rugby team to New Zealand during a critical period for negotiating deals.

United fly to Los Angeles on Sunday for a pre-season tour of the United States, with their first training session of the summer scheduled to take place the following day.

Less than a week before that travel date, only one of Mourinho’s transfer targets – the Sweden central defender Victor Lindelof – has been secured by the club.

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Manchester United transfer chief Ed Woodward
Manchester United transfer chief Ed Woodward

To reinforce a squad that Mourinho led to two major trophies in his first year at United ahead of the club’s return to Champions League football, the Portuguese wants at least four more elite-level additions in defence, midfield and attack.

Early this year he provided Woodward with a dossier detailing multiple recruitment options for each position that was to be strengthened.

“Ed Woodward has my list, what I want, what I would like for more than two months,” Mourinho said in the aftermath of May’s Europa League Final victory over Ajax Amsterdam. “So now it’s up to him and the owners.”

The executive vice-chairman’s failure to deliver on any deal other than Lindelof’s move from Benfica for an initial transfer fee of €35million stands in stark contrast to the speed with which key transactions were put in place ahead of Mourinho’s first campaign as manager.

By the 6th of July last year, Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were all United employees.

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The world record transaction that brought Paul Pogba from Juventus was also sufficiently advanced that the France international joined United in early August, shortly after a post-European Championship holiday.

With the loss of Ibrahimovic’s leadership and goal scoring to a double cruciate ligament rupture forcing United into a difficult market for centre forwards ahead of a season in which the club is expected to compete for both Premier and Champions League titles.

Mourinho’s concern is that the campaign will be handicapped by current sloth on transfers. “Nothing is being done for signings,” a close friend told Yahoo Sports.