Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has suggested the Old Trafford club are close to sealing a deal for Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba. The 23-year-old France international has been strongly linked with a return to the Red Devils in recent months and Mourinho has admitted the club are close to signing a "very good midfielder".
Mourinho insisted he did not wish to speak about Pogba until he was "officially" no longer a Juventus player, but subsequently said he was confident of signing a midfielder before United's opening Premier League fixture against Bournemouth.
"We have 22 now, we will have 23," the United boss explained during a pre-match press conference ahead of their Community Shield game against Leicester City on Sunday (7 August), according to the BBC. "I don't like to speak about other clubs' players. Other managers like to do that, but the only thing that matters is my house. He (Pogba) is a Juventus player until officially he isn't.
"The market closes on 31 August and we are trying to do everything to close the market as quickly as possible, before 14 August. Normally that would mean next week."
Mourinho also opened up about his club's transfer policy this summer, saying the Reds have focused their attention on signing quality, not quantity. "We decided to bring in four players not 10, but four who are Manchester United level and we think can really improve the squad," he said amid reports linking Pogba with a £100m ($130.3m) return to United.
"A young defender (Eric Bailly) that needs time to be a top one but who has top potential. A creative player (Henrikh Mkhitaryan) that we know the quality, a super striker (Zlatan Ibrahimovic) and we are going to get a very good midfielder. Our market was good. We try for balance. I am happy with my squad. I am happy with the effort of the club."
Mourinho also blasted Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp for their recent criticism of United's £100m pursuit of Pogba. The duo both suggested the Red Devils were paying an inflated fee for the sought-after star.
"I only speak about us. I heard already two of my colleagues from other clubs speaking about us. I do not like that. It is not ethical," Mourinho observed. "There are things that when I do are not ethical and when others do it everything is normal, nobody says that. I do not speak about the others. They can do what they want. Our market was good."