It will be a very busy pre-season for Manchester United. For less then a month the Red Devils will play the Champions League winners Real Madrid twice – on July 23 at Levi’s Stadium in California and on August 8th at Phillip II stadium in Skopje, Macedonia, for the UEFA Super Cup. The Super Cup is one game competition, an annual match played between the Champions League and Europa League winners.
United will start their pre-season on July 8th. Mourinho told the media that he expects to manage a “strong group of players when we meet again for next season”. He said that when the new signings arrive at Old Trafford, they will “find a group more ready to go for big things”.
The first friendly is in the United States against LA Galaxy at StubHub Center in Los Angeles. It will kick off Man United’s US summer Tour 2017, presented by Aon. In their previous meeting July 2014 the Red Devils trashed Galaxy by 7-0.
On July 17 United travel to Utah to play Real Salt Lake (RSL) in Rio Tinto Stadium. The Salt Lake City club has been founded 13 years ago. They have played Real Madrid, Everton and Inter Milan within the recent years.
Three days later, on July 20 Man United play their local rival Manchester City. The summer Manchester derby will be played at the NRG Stadium in Houston. This is the Red Devils first game in 2017’s International Champions Cup, a competition they won in the summer of 2014.
On July 23 Man United will face Real Madrid at Levi’s Stadium in California. Three days later, on 26th they play against FC Barcelona at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. This is United’s final game in the United States and it is expected to draw 82,000 fans.
Back to Europe on July 30, Jose Mourinho’s men will meet the Norwegian side Valerenga at the Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo. The last United’s friendly before the Super Cup match against Real Madrid, will be on August 2nd against the Italian Sampdoria at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
United to bring 4 high profile names to Old Trafford
Jose Mourinho has announced he is tired of football. “I got fed up and tired of football until the last day. I promised that you would not see me in football stadiums and I stopped negotiating for players and being worried”, said the United manager. While the media is busy in producing and distributing various transfer rumors the Portuguese coach went on vacation and said is not taking part in transfer negotiations. He relies on Ed Woodward to bring 4 key players to Old Trafford, one of them a top striker.
The Red Devils are expected to spend around £200 million on improving their squad during the summer transfer window. According to Manchester Evening News “Romelu Lukaku, Alvaro Morata and Andrea Belotti are among the alternatives being considered, while midfielder Nemanja Matic and defenders Michael Keane and Victor Lindelof are also on Mourinho’s wanted list“.
Mourinho is one of the finest professionals in football management, no doubt about that. He is probably the world’s best manager in terms of taking the responsibility off of his shoulders and his transfer business makes no exception. Jose who has said that this season was “the most difficult season of my career” has insisted that it is up to Ed Woodward to bring the players he needs.
Man United’s UEFA Cup win probably worths as much if not more than the Premier League title and Mourinho should receive credit for winning it.
Jose Mourinho was under heavy criticism during the whole 2016/2017 Premier League season. The Portuguese manager has been given financial support to bring whoever he needed when he took on Man United last summer. Morinho brought Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Eric Baily and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Those 4 players were enough for him to achieve with United in his first season bringing UEFA Europa League trophy to Old Trafford and qualifying for the Champions League.
In order to achieve in the Champions League next season Mourinho needs at least another 4 top quality players – one striker and three in the midfield and in defense. From the team that won the Europa League final against Ajax Amsterdam only Pogba, Mkhitaryan, Rashford, Herrera, Blind and Valencia would expect to be regular starters next season. Eric Baily and Zlatan Ibrahimovic should also be given a lot of game time.
Despite playing in the final Juan Mata has once bee named by Mourinho while in Chelsea and his game time depends very much of who would come to Old Trafford this summer.
Martial and Lingard have a lot of quality and we would expect them to start on many occasions but it is very likely that both would be squad players in season 2017/2018.
Man United fans look optimistic for the new season and they have every right to be like that as the Morinho’s previous business has proved he can be trusted. He has managed to beat united’s bitter rivals to sign at least 2 players who were a major success in the Premier League. He signed Willian and Diego Costa for Chelsea as well as another Liverpool target. We can also add Mohamed Salah to the list, despite that he failed to adapt to the Premier League.
Mourinho needed to bring a very stable central defender to Old Trafford last season and he managed to do that by signing Eric Bailly. United paid only £30 million for the 23-year-old Bailly, who wasn’t a big name in the international football at the time, but proved to be an outstanding signing and instantly improved United’s defence.
So, whoever Mourinho brings to Old Trafford, will improve the current Man United side and would help them to chase both for the 2017/2018 Premier League and Champions League titles.