English Premier League

Manchester United should be proud of record Paul Pogba transfer in crazy market, says Jose Mourinho

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 August, 2016, 10:17am
UPDATED : Monday, 08 August, 2016, 10:17am

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said his club should feel “proud” about signing Paul Pogba as the France midfielder moved closer to rejoining his former team in a world-record transfer.

Pogba, 23, is poised to complete a reported 89 million pounds (HK$902 million) switch to Old Trafford after United and Juventus confirmed on Sunday he was undergoing a medical.

The fee will make the France midfielder the world’s most expensive player and while Mourinho accepts that it is an eye-watering amount of money, he feels it is a sign of the club’s standing in the game.

“I don’t think Real Madrid were upset when they broke the record with Gareth Bale, with Cristiano [Ronaldo],” Mourinho said after watching his side beat Leicester City 2-1 in the Community Shield at Wembley.

“When other people break records, I don’t think it’s a reason to be sad. I think it’s a reason to be proud with the dimension of a club that can do that and can attract players of this dimension.

“If you ask me if I think it’s a lot of money, I think football is crazy. The market has become crazy. When you think this season is crazy, you realise three years later is not crazy any more.

“There are players that cost 10 million that are super expensive. They are players worth 500,000 or one million. What is expensive and not expensive in football, I don’t know any more.

“I just know that he’s a big player who for sure is going to be important for a big club like Man United.”

Mourinho expressed satisfaction with United’s transfer business after seeing Ivorian centre-back Eric Bailly, Armenian playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Sweden superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic arrive.

Bailly impressed against Leicester, Mkhitaryan made his official debut as a stoppage-time substitute and Ibrahimovic settled the game with a towering 83rd-minute header from Antonio Valencia’s cross.

But despite dedicating victory to his sacked predecessor Louis van Gaal, Mourinho warned that it will take time for his players to un-learn the safety-first principles they were taught by the Dutchman.

“There are some changes that take time,” said Mourinho, whose team open their Premier League season at Bournemouth on Sunday.

“The second goal, probably last year, instead of crossing, Valencia cuts down and plays a back-pass.

“We are changing the principles of play and that takes time. In this moment, we are not a super team. We are just a team with a super desire to work.”