Newcastle legend Shearer has sympathy for Man Utd boss Mourinho

Jerome Boateng

Yet a downbeat Mourinho has admitted he may not get the defender he listed as his top priority when he submitted his transfer wish-list last May, as he admitted he was growing exhausted of the endless speculation ahead of transfer deadline day.

The Red Devils have also been linked with Leicester City's Harry Maguire and Tottenham Hotspur's Toby Alderweireld.

Both clubs finished below United last season in the Premier League yet Mourinho claims they are projected as "serial winners" despite failing to land a trophy since 2012 and 2008 respectively.

Mourinho said it was "time to stop thinking about the market" and, unless there is a dramatic change throughout the day, that means United will be trying to win their first Premier League title since Sir Alex Ferguson's final season without the new centre-half that the manager had identified as a priority.

"The market closes today".

Manchester United have signed Shakhtar Donetsk star Fred, FC Porto defender Diogo Dalot and Stoke City goalkeeper Lee Grant this summer. 'When I listen, when I read, it's hard to believe we finished second because you are capable of making people who finish second (sound like we) were relegated.

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Liverpool have invested heavily over the summer as they look to pose a challenge to last season's runaway champions, Manchester City, but the same can't be said for United.

And Mourinho will have a meeting after training today with the players who have only just reported back for duty after their post World Cup breaks to see who feels fit enough to play at Old Trafford tomorrow.

"They returned on Monday, trained for four days so you can imagine that they are not really fit and ready but we have needs", he added.

"I would go for Alderweireld, all day long because he is suited to the way United play".

"It looked like I was saying something absolutely out of order, something insane, I repeat: Pre-season hard when you don't have your players to work, that's as simple as that".

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