Mourinho rules out loan moves for fringe players
Jose Mourinho insists none of Manchester United’s exiled stars will be allowed to leave Old Trafford on loan next month.
In the week that Anthony Martial’s agent talked up the possibility of the United forward joining Sevilla on loan and Morgan Schneiderlin was linked with a £13 million ($16 million) move to West Bromwich Albion, Mourinho insists nobody will be allowed to leave unless the price is right.
Back-up goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, wanted by Stoke, Aston Villa and Sunderland, is the only exception and will be free to join one of those clubs temporarily.
“Sam Johnstone is the only player that I allow to go on loan. He doesn’t play one minute and he needs to play,” United manager Mourinho told reporters on Friday.
“I don’t want to sell players. The club and the board is totally with me, but as I said before, if a player is not having lots of minutes and really wants to leave, we have no right to stop him leaving if the conditions are our conditions.
“And up until this moment, we have not received one single offer that we are going to accept.”
That includes Albion’s reported approach for France midfielder Schneiderlin, who is surplus to Mourinho’s requirements and is reported to have been told he will be sold when the window opens, but only when an acceptable offer comes in.
Everton are also keen on Schneiderlin, signed for £25 million from Southampton by Mourinho’s predecessor Louis van Gaal, and the Merseyside club are reportedly prepared to go to £20 million, the sort of figure that will prompt United into talking business.
The only exception to Mourinho’s insistence that no players will be allowed to leave on loan is goalkeeper Johnstone and he has become expendable since the emergence of 20-year-old Portuguese keeper Joel Castro Pereira who has leapfrogged above him in United’s pecking order.
– Big money –
“We have a young goalkeeper in Joel and a goalkeeper that played many minutes in the past six months,” Mourinho added.
“And for the development of both, Joel played for six months in the Portuguese Premier League, now it’s time for Sam to play six months and that is the only loan move we are going to do.”
Mourinho has reacted to recent developments in Chinese football by insisting that players have the right to decide whether or not to chase big money moves to the developing football nation.
In the week that Carlos Tevez became the world’s highest paid player, and there were claims that a Chinese club attempted to sign Cristiano Ronaldo, Mourinho has no problem with players asserting their right to take their careers anywhere.
“My opinion is everyone is free to choose his life,” Mourinho said. “And I am nobody to criticise anyone or try to give an opinion on that.
“Everyone is free to choose, everyone knows what is their priorities. I think that is what it is about.”
Meanwhile, United have reported their pre-tax profits were up to £141.1 million from £81.7 million in the annual accounts recently published by Companies House.
The documents for Manchester United Limited show the club had revenues of £253.9 million up until the end of June 2016, up from £201.7 million.
A new kit sponsorship deal with German company Adidas provided £72.7 million, while shirt sponsors Chevrolet, part of General Motors, accounted for £52.2 million.