Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has praised the club’s summer business after they got their recruits prior to the start of the season. The Special One is delighted that he managed to negotiate cheaper deals for the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic, who could have cost significantly more following Neymar’s world-record £198m move to Paris Saint-Germain.
Speaking to The Times, the 54-year-old admitted that the club had a feeling there would be a seismic transfer event, and they were proved right following Neymar’s surprise switch away from Barcelona.
Lukaku was pursued from Everton for an initial £75m from Everton during the summer, and Mourinho admits that the striker would have cost at least twice the sum, had they delayed their transfer proceedings until August, he said: “I think we were very clever. We thought that something could happen that could change the market forever. Normally the last part of the market is less expensive, but this season, after Neymar everything changed – and changed for the worse in terms of prices. I think Lukaku on August 31 would have been £150m. Matic would have been £60m or £70m.”
Upon Neymar’s departure, Barcelona failed with multiple attempts to sign Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho but Mourinho cites that the attacker could have been at Barcelona, had his compatriot stayed put, he added: “Neymar changed everything. If the biggest transfer in history had still been Pogba, I think Philippe Coutinho would now be in Barcelona at £101m. People look to the £200m figure now. Now the players of £20m became £40m, the players of £40m became £60m and everything changed.”
Manchester United restart the league season with an away outing at Stoke City on Saturday, which will be followed by a midweek clash against Basel in the Champions League opener.