Jose Mourinho has warned potential transfer targets more interested in picking a “beautiful” place to live than playing for Manchester United that he will not waste his time on them.
Mourinho is confident Ed Woodward, United’s executive vice-chairman who handles transfer negotiations, will deliver on most of his leading targets this summer.
Antoine Griezmann, the Atletico Madrid and France striker, is a priority target while Monaco midfielder Tieumoue Bakayoko, who is also wanted by Chelsea, and Eric Dier, of Spurs, are also in Mourinho’s sights.
United also have an interest in Celtic left back Kieran Tierney with Luke Shaw increasingly likely to depart this summer but face competition from Manchester City and Arsenal.
Griezmann was sounded out months ago by United, who plan to trigger his £85 million release clause at the end of the season, but the Frenchman has spoken on several occasions about how he likes the Spanish lifestyle while making unfavourable comments about the unpredictable English weather.
Mourinho did not name Griezmann when discussing his summer transfer plans on Friday but he is adamant he will not be messed about by players who are anything less than determined to move to Old Trafford.
“If a player wants to move to London, enjoy London, we don’t want you,” Mourinho said. “If the first thing you think is where you’re going to live, think Los Angeles, LA Galaxy would be the first choice, then Vitoria Setubal - go to the beach every day. There are beautiful places to live and to play.
“We want people who are really engaged by the first contact. “If I call or Mr Woodward calls some guy or some agent we want people who are immediately engaged or dreaming about coming. This is the profile of players we want. If you don’t want to come to us, good luck, enjoy your other club.”
Mourinho wants four new signings this summer – a left back, centre-half, defensive midfielder and a striker – and says he has given Woodward two targets for each position in case a deal cannot be struck for his preferred player. He is also keen to wrap up business as quickly as possible in order to give him plenty of time to prepare for the new campaign with a full squad, despite admitting the turbulent nature of the transfer market can render that impossible.
“It’s very important and the board knows that but I also know that in this moment the market is very difficult so I’m not a silly manager to say I give the names and you have to give me the players,” said Mourinho, who this week dismissed as “absurd” reports he was chasing Barcelona and Brazil forward Neymar.
“I give the names, I give the options, I give the second options in case the first options are not possible but I give all the information based on my analysis, based on my experience, based on my projections for the future. But our relationship is very, very good.
“First of all they know I am not asking for impossible targets, I ask for difficult targets. Then it is a difficult job and they try to do the best they can and I’m sure that in the end of the summer probably we don’t have exactly my first options because it’s difficult to succeed in every attempt. But I’m sure that we are going to do something interesting and to improve our team for next season.”
Mourinho says he gets frustrated when rival managers express an interest in his players but do not follow that up with a formal bid. Ronald Koeman, the Everton manager who signed Morgan Schneiderlin from United in January, also raised the prospect of moves for Wayne Rooney and Memphis Depay but nothing materialised.
“What I’ve seen a change in is they [other managers] saying they want my players but then they don’t [bid],” Mourinho said. “That I can say. ‘Oh I want this player from Manchester United’. Then no offer.”
Asked if that could mess with the minds of players, Mourinho suggested they often had a part to play in the feverish transfer speculation.
“I think they are part of this,” Mourinho said. “Ninety per cent of what you write is because of what some father [of a player] told you, what some brother told you, what some agent told you so this is cross information all over the place. I don’t think you write lies. I think you write what people tell you but sometimes people tell you lies.”