Mourinho: Man Utd don't need Champions League to attract world's best

The Red Devils boss was in surprisingly upbeat mood ahead of Sunday's trip to Sunderland, stressing that his side's form is a huge positive

Jose Mourinho has denied that Manchester United need to be inthe Champions League to attract world-class players to the club.

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United have failed to qualify for the elite European club competition in two of the last three seasons and are six points adrift of fourth place in the Premier League.

Reports have suggested Antoine Griezmann would reject interest from United this summer should they again miss out on playing in Europe's premier club competition.

But Mourinho –speaking before his side reached the Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday –saidthe acquisitions of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan prove that Old Trafford maintains a strong pull for players.

"Manchester United is very powerful, it doesn't need to be in the Champions League to attract the best players," Mourinho told BBC Sport ahead of the 1-0 victory over Rostov at Old Trafford.

"Zlatan could still be in Paris. Mkhitaryan could be at Borussia Dortmund. Pogba could be at Juventus. We were able to attract the players because they know that Manchester United sooner or later will get there.

"If any player decides not to come because of that, then I am happy that they are not coming."

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