Willian speaks of Mourinho admiration; reveals United talks

Manchester United's striker Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the English Premier League football match against West Ham United

English football club Manchester United was negotiating Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic's transfer to the team, coach Jose Mourinho said on Friday.

Despite picking up three pieces of silverware, the Red Devils could only muster a sixth-place finish in the league and are aware of the need to improve on that front and meet rising expectations.

Manchester United face a tricky start to their domestic campaign when they host West Ham at Old Trafford on Sunday. Every opponent wants to win every match, every opponent gives you a hard time. Step by step, we're going to fight. If pre-season is anything to go by Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are full of confidence and if that transpires into the regular season opposition teams will have every right to be anxious.

Mourinho admits it was a challenge to keep his players fired up to compete for Europe's secondary competition but he does not expect any problems this year.

It's the first weekend of the Premier League! "It's obviously more hard to win the Champions League, also because the motivation is higher".

"Arsenal and Everton are in the Europa League and they have to play Thursdays".

The buzz may have gone but the biggest question before the coming season remains whether two of the highest-profile managers in the world can deliver on all the hype surrounding them.

Bookmakers have seen plenty of support for Lukaku in the Premier League top scorer market and he is now as short as 4-1 with many companies, but last year's victor Harry Kane remains the favorite at around the 3-1 mark. While they may have to deal with European commitments once again - all United supporters should sit back and enjoy the side.

"I understand the reality of the market, the numbers and my club by doing 75 per cent of what I asked, the club did well".

Mourinho has no new injury concerns, with Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw and Ashley Young his only long-term absentees. As you know the Premier League is the main target. But for the beginning of the season, we lost important players, too [to injury].

But Mourinho was nevertheless impressed with his former Chelsea charge: "I think he played really well, I think in the moment they were moving the ball well of course was hard for us in the midfield".



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