It seems as if Jose Mourinho will not get his reunion with Willian. Certainly not at Manchester United, anyway. Barcelona have reportedly bid £60m for the Chelsea winger, as they look to replace the expected Antoine Griezmann, and to give Lionel Messi more freedom. United have only a few weeks to complete their transfer business, and with the end of the World Cup due, there is little work to be done in pre-season with any new, and existing, recruits.
As a reminder of Ed Woodward’s incompetence, Jose Mourinho found words of praise for Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic easy to come by after he equalised for Croatia in the World Cup semi-final last night. While he’s pretty old at 29. his direct play and goalscoring ruthlessness compared favourably with Anthony Martial and England’s underwhelming Marcus Rashford. Whether Rashford can learn from Mourinho is another matter, but he might be best served by time away this season.
Last night Jesse Lingard’s limited approach to the game was highlighted by England’s struggle against Croatia. He’s absolutely fine when better players are around him, but when attention turns to him over the course of the match he often struggles.
According to the Manchester Evening News, United are in talks for Real Madrid’s winger Gareth Bale. Mourinho wants a right-sided attacker and Woodward has always been keen on the player since he took over transfers at Old Trafford. He would probably cost around the same as Cristiano Ronaldo, but while he is a fair few years younger, his immediate fitness concerns are more pressing after missing much of the last few years in Spain.
And lastly, Ryan Giggs has said that Ronaldo’s obsession with Lionel Messi was what led him to move to Real Madrid. He has proven himself the superior player now, whatever clowns want to believe.