Jose Mourinho might have only been in charge at Manchester United a matter of days, but he has already been linked with taking a host of new signings at Old Trafford.
The Special One replaced Louis van Gaal at the Theatre of Dreams after the Dutchman was shown the door following his failure to secure Champions League football for the Red Devils next season.
Here, Rob Dawson from the Manchester Evening News takes a look at some of United’s reported transfer targets and what Mourinho has had to say about them over the years…
On Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2014…..
“A player who gave me as much as Ibra will always be in my heart. He did a lot for Inter and Inter did a lot for him.
“I like seeing Ibra. I greet him whenever I get the chance to and I wish him all the best, except when he plays against me. He is very special, he is one of the best strikers in the world.”
On Paul Pogba in 2015…..
“Pogba is one of the top players in the world. Pogba goes to any team and improves that team automatically.
I think everybody has an interest in Pogba. But there are things you can do and things you cannot do. I love the Eiffel Tower but I can’t have the Eiffel Tower in my garden. I can’t even have the Eiffel Tower of Las Vegas.”
On John Stones in 2015…..
“At the moment they say: “We don’t accept this bid”. They don’t say: “We don’t accept bids, any bids”. While they say, “We don’t accept this bid” until September 1, we can improve the bid: £1 more, £10 more, we can improve the bid.
If one day Roberto Martinez or the chairman says: “He’s not for sale; we don’t accept any bid”, game over. So during this process, it’s clear, we don’t deny we made a bid for Stones. It means we are trying to buy.
We have two (defenders) who are more than 30 years old. We would like to have two less than 25 years old, which would give us the next 10 years. But as you can imagine it’s no something urgent, it is not something we are desperate for.”
On Romelu Lukaku in 2014…..
“The thinking behind the move was the fact that Romelu was always very clear with us, in his mentality, in his approach, he was not highly motivated to come to a competitive situation at Chelsea.
He wanted to play for Chelsea but he wanted to be clearly the first-choice striker, which in a club of our dimension, it is very difficult to promise to a player. That reduced immediately his desire to come to us. Everton came in with an important offer.”
On Raphael Varane in 2014….
“I was on holiday and in Madrid. Zinedine Zidane arrived with a DVD and I thought ‘That player, with two years’ work with us, would be fantastic’.
Varane had one foot at Manchester United but Real Madrid are very strong and Rapha came to us.”
On Nemanja Matic in 2014…..
“I am very pleased that Nemanja is returning to Chelsea.
He has grown as a player in Portugal and has become a fantastic all-round midfielder. I am sure he will become a very important member of the squad and help us to achieve our ambitions.”
On Luka Modric in 2014….
“I called Modric only privately but he doesn’t want Chelsea. You know I really appreciate Luka Modric and his qualities. But he stays in Real Madrid.”
Stefan Sturaro’s agent Carlo Volpi in 2016…..
“I also talked to Mourinho who liked Stefano, and thought he could be another Lampard, through Stefano had different characteristics.”