Jose Mourinho has warned Manchester United fans that the derby with Manchester City at the Houston Texans on Thursday (20 July) will be nothing more than a friendly game, with the sole aim being to help players acclimatise themselves for the season ahead. The Portuguese international has termed the fixture as a "competitive training session" and will not attain any relevance to the result when the final whistle is blown.
The Red Devils have already played LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake in two pre-season fixtures and will now move on to the more glorious ties that include the likes of City, Real Madrid and Barcelona. New signings Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof will all be looking to stake a claim in the team for the season ahead with a series of impressive performances in the pre-season tour.
However, United are finding it very difficult to make any headway in the transfer market with Mourinho complaining about over-inflated prices that have made it difficult to uncover talents. Mourinho is now willing to alter his transfer strategy and settle for one more arrival, which he believes will be enough to balance the squad currently at his disposal.
"For me it is a competitive training session that you try to win but it is not the most important thing," he said at the team hotel, as quoted by the Independent. "We had two matches against MLS teams, now it is time to raise the level and now we get three of the best teams in Europe (in City, Real Madrid and Barcelona). I don't know the way they will face the game, if they want to win the tournament, the derby, I don't know.
"But I know what I want - that is to give minutes to my players, to try to improve, to make mistakes, to repeat exercises from training to stop those mistakes, to make the two new players try to understand the team-mates and for the team-mates to understand them. There is always a little bit of rivalry, a little bit of an extra ingredient, but for me it is a friendly. I am not going to jump to celebrate goal, or cry after any goal we concede. It is preparation."