World Cup hangover lingers over Premier League kick-off


Manchester United need Alexis Sanchez to fire when they kick off their Premier League campaign against Leicester City on Friday as they seek to put a troubled pre-season behind them.

Two calamitous errors from Loris Karius in losing the Champions League final to Real Madrid in May made it clear an upgrade was needed in goal and 72.5 million euros (84 million dollars, 65.2 million pounds) were splashed on Alisson Becker from Roma in a short-lived world-record fee for a goalkeeper.

It remains to be seen whether Manchester United will up their offer but it may not do any good even if they agree terms with Bayern as the Mirror claim Boateng has called Mourinho to inform him he has no interest in joining Man Utd.

However, there has been little other late movement from the top six clubs with Mourinho in particular frustrated at missing out on a host of targets to bolster his options in central defence.

While optimism is growing at Anfield, the same can not be said at last season's runners-up Manchester United who kick off the new season on Friday at home to Leicester City with a squad that is under-cooked, according to manager Jose Mourinho.

A strong start to the season would put paid to those concerns, and Mourinho's mood might be improved if he is able to bring in more new faces before the transfer deadline, but at the moment the outlook is far from rosy and supporters are entitled to be anxious.

Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford, Phil Jones, and Victor Lindelöf were all praised by Mourinho for cutting short their holidays to return to training and be in the frame to play a part tomorrow. It is hard for me to understand we finish second.

"I am not confident, and the market closes today, so it's time, at least for me, to stop thinking about the market because the market will be closed".

Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has been one of the more outspoken critics of the shortened window with time running out for Spurs to make a single signing this summer. Particularly as a manager, for irrespective of who has done it, you're going to be responsible.

With £179 million spent on new players this summer, the expectations are nothing short of ending the 28 year long Premier League title drought. The Croatian wants to keep Boateng at the Allianz Arena next season, although a switch to Paris Saint-Germain this summer is still believed to be on the cards.

Barcelona's Yerry Mina was linked with a switch to Old Trafford but financial demands from agents have ruled out any swoop for the 23-year-old, who impressed for Colombia during the World Cup, with Everton now favourites to sign him.

A wonderful summer of incomings concluded with the club-record capture of Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore for £18 million, and the loan signing of Belgium global Leander Dendoncker - though the club say the deal will become permanent next summer.