Man Utd need two deadline day deals - Rooney

Transfer Deadline Day Real Madrid

Transfer Deadline Day Real Madrid

United manager Jose Mourinho, entering his third season at Old Trafford, has looked like a Bassett Hound for most of the summer, predicting a "difficult season" for a team which finished second in May.

"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".

That felt like a reference to Liverpool but, more importantly for United, it was also an admission that it will need a dramatic improvement this season for his own team to bridge the gap. It is time for me to stop thinking about the market because the market will be closed. "That is my experience at Barcelona and Bayern Munich".

Mourinho heads into the Leicester match with a hefty injury list, including key midfielders Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera, while a host of other stars of only recently returned from their break after World Cup duty.

"They returned on Monday, trained Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and today so you can imagine they are not really fit and ready but we have needs", Mourinho said.

With the World Cup ending on July 15, the Premier League and Football League's decision to bring forward their deadline from August 31 prompted a rush of business.

Marcus Rashford, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku made slightly early returns so could be involved on Friday, perhaps helping to boost the mood of a manager who has looked downbeat for much of the summer.

"My view is that it is hard for me to believe that we finished second", he said.

The Portuguese believes runners-up are often portrayed as if they have been relegated and those who finish below them are presented as "serial winners".

"But I keep saying and thinking and feeling that the second last season was one of my biggest achievements in the game".

The Red Devils coach has cut a sullen figure throughout pre-season with the former Chelsea boss unable to hide his dissatisfaction with Brazil global midfielder Fred being his sides only high profile signing.

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