Man Utd in crisis?

Huge week for Mourinho & Manchester United

It's been an interesting summer for a number of clubs up and down the country but the vibes coming out of the red side of Manchester aren't too positive. Jose Mourinho's Red Devils endured a mixed 17/18 campaign which saw them end the season with no silverware - whilst also watching their blue rivals absolutely dominate the domestic scene.

Manchester United have a lot of ground to make up on City and the rest of Europe's big guns if they're to win honours domestically and continentally, which means some serious money needs to be spent. This summer they've shelled out around £80m on three new additions, but their squad is still in need of some big names to set them up for their opener against Leicester on Friday.

Jose Mourinho hasn't been afraid to hide his desire for new arrivals and it's seen him make some strong comments to the media during the clubs pre-season tour. His relationship both with CEO Ed Woodward and the players looks to be the most strained it's been during his two years in the north west which has led to plenty of speculation around his future - so just what is going on at Manchester United?

Re-enforcements needed

The Premier League is the most competitive league in the world, but also the richest, which means that you're always needing to spend to keep up with your rivals. A club the size of Manchester United never really struggles to find money with them one of the most wealthiest in world football, which makes their lack of transfer activity all the more surprising.

Boss Jose Mourinho really doesn't appear to be a happy man at the moment and he hasn't been afraid to hide his need for new recruits and his technique has raised a few eyebrows. During the clubs pre-season tour of the US he hasn't been afraid to make his feelings regarding their transfer policy public. Before their clash with Bayern Munich on Sunday he said "My CEO knows what I want for quite a long time" which puts a lot of pressure on Ed Woodward. Mourinho gave him his major targets at the start of the window and as of now he's only landed one of those so far in Fred. He joined from Shakhtar Donetesk for around £60m and whilst he does look like an impressive capture - more re-enforcements are needed.

Fred Manchester United
Fred looks like an impressive capture for United, but Mourinho is desperate to add more to his squad

A centre-back is high on Mourinho's shopping list with England World Cup hero Harry Maguire reportedly his primary target. The 25 year-old joined Leicester City for just £17m last summer but he could cost a new world record fee for a defender should he make the move to Old Trafford - but the closer we edge to the closure of the window the less likely it looks. Toby Alderweireld is another one strongly linked, but Spurs' reluctance to accept anything under £50m is a huge stumbling block in a potential deal.

Money is never an issue for Manchester United so it's easy to see why Jose Mourinho has become an extremely frustrated figure over the summer - especially when players such as Cristiano Ronaldo were available for transfer. Is it incompetence upstairs? Are United trying to cut down their outgoings? Or have the board just lost faith in Mourinho? I guess we'll find out over the coming months.

No trust in the team?

This is a very different side to the one that Mourinho inherited back in 2016 but it appears that United may be starting to lack in direction again. The 55 year-old has spent some massive sums of money making this team his own, but despite that he really isn't happy. Mourinho recently claimed that Manchester United will be in for a 'difficult season' if they fail to add to their squad, with just Fred, Diogo Dallot and Lee Grant making the move to the north west this summer.

United appear to be a bit short both at the back and going forward but when looking at that squad there's still more than enough quality to compete for major honours - well that's what we think anyway. Mourinho isn't the same however, he wants more and he isn't afraid to make it common knowledge.

Jose Mourinho
Mourinho made his feelings regarding United's squad public knowledge

The summer hasn't been tough just off the pitch too, with United's pre-season as uninspiring as the end to the previous campaign. Two lacklustre defeats against Liverpool (4-1) and Bayern Munich (1-0) haven't done much for morale in the camp and there's also the on-going feud between Mourinho and fans favourite Anthony Martial - who clearly wants out the club. The Frenchmen is clearly an exceptionally talented player but the arrival of Alexis Sanchez has pushed him down the pecking order and he's desperate for game time, especially after missing out on a place at the World Cup.

He looks set to stay this window due to United demanding mega money for his services but it's another case of a Mourinho isolating a promising youngster - the fans will be hoping it doesn't come back to bite him like Salah and De Bruyne should he end up leaving. Whilst you can't read into pre-season it clearly hasn't gone as smoothly as the club would've liked, but it's important to bare in mind they are missing key men such as Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku who'll provide a big boost following their extended break after their exploits in Russia.

What should Manchester United fans expect this season?

Manchester United always have big aspirations and that won't change this season regardless of what unfolds in the remainder of the transfer window. Their squad is still capable of challenging for major honours but you really feel that they need to make at least one signing to lift some of the doom & gloom surrounding the club and Mourinho at the moment. He never tends to last longer than 3 seasons at a club and many are predicting this to be his final one in Manchester.

His comments during the summer made him the favourite to lose his job in the Premier League at one stage, such has been the speculation. Now only Leicester's Claude Puel (7/2) has shorter odds than him (5/1) which tells you all you need to know about his job security at the moment. His defensive brand of football really hasn't gone down a hit with the fans at Old Trafford and this is despite having players such as Alexis Sanchez, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku to call upon. The trio get a fair bit of stick for their performances at club level but Pogba and Lukaku in particular have proven that they are top quality after impressing at this summers World Cup for France and Belgium respectively.

Jose Mourinho Manchester United
The clock appears to be ticking on Mourinho's Old Trafford future

United ended their pre-season tour on Sunday with an extremely tough trip to face Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena. Again there's not much you can read into it with it being a friendly but the stats made damning reading - 1 corner, 0 shots on target and 28% possession isn't the ideal preparation fo their Premier League opener.

All this tied together with the clubs inability to land Mourinho's targets, player unrest (Martial) and his strained relationship with the board makes us believe him he claims the club could be in for a difficult season. A good start against Leicester on Friday night is essential to get the feel good factor back again but before that they have work to do in the transfer window - a signing or two could have a massive impact on United's upcoming campaign...


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