Comments from players and Jose ahead of the Derby

Afternoon Bulletin

WE NEED THEM

Henrikh Mkhitaryan was interviewed by United’s website recently and the Armenian was full of praise for United’s latest additions. Mkhitaryan said: “They are training well. They are very good guys and we are trying to help them to adapt. ‘It is very important for them and us to get into the team as quickly as they can because we need them for the start of the season. We are doing our best to help them settle.’ Mkhitaryan himself struggled at the start of last season and would want to ensure a seamless transition for his new teammates.

NO PRESSURE

Marcus Rashford was given press duties ahead of United’s Derby against Manchester City. Speaking to the press, Rashford touched on a number of topics including pressure and his development as a player. Rashford said: “There is always pressure playing at United. I don’t think it changes. You put it on yourself more. Year on year that will only increase. The responsibility that I put on myself is the thing that has changed. Fans always expect the best from me so the pressure doesn’t change. Season by season, I have different aims and responsibilities to the team. This year hopefully I will take more responsibility on. That is the aim.’

CHANGE IN PLANS

Jose Mourinho accepted that the crazy market for players has seen him come down to three summer targets instead of the four that he initially earmarked. After being priced out of a move for Perisic despite being close to a deal, Mourinho was adamant that his club would not be bullied into paying astronomical fees for players. Mourinho said: “Everybody knows, because I said, I would like four players and I’m ready to go from four to three because the market is difficult. Some clubs think the market is different from others. We are not a club that is ready to pay what the clubs want us to pay so I’m ready to go from four to three.”

JOINING THE VERRATTI CHASE

Manchester United became the latest club to join the Marco Verratti bandwagon. With Mourinho dropping one of his transfer targets, United may be armed with a bigger war chest for Verratti. The Italian also changed his agent and hired Mino Raiola. Raiola also represents Pogba, Lukaku and Ibrahimovic. Ed Woodward would be comfortable negotiating with Raiola. United are in the market for a new midfield anchor and with Chelsea unwilling to sell Matic to United, Verratti may end up being a Red this summer. Barcelona are one of the clubs United would have to beat to win the race to sign the influential midfielder.

DERBY NIGHT

Manchester United will face Manchester City in the club’s first fixture in the International Champions Cup 2017. The city rivals face off in Houston with another late/early kickoff in the UK.