LONDON — Jose Mourinho had just won his first trophy as Manchester United’s manager but deep in the bowels of Wembley Stadium all of the talk wasn’t about their 2-1 victory against Leicester City.
It was about the imminent arrival of Paul Pogba.
[ MORE: 3 things we learned ]
News broke before United’s Community Shield victory that Juventus has allowed Pogba, 23, to travel to Manchester for his medical ahead of an expected world-record transfer fee.
In his post-game press conference Mourinho revealed that he expects Pogba to arrive on Tuesday but didn’t confirm whether or not it was a world-record transfer fee of over $130 million for the French international midfielder. On the fee, all Mourinho said is that “football is crazy” when asked about the ever-increasing transfer fees.
One thing Mourinho is fairly sure on: Pogba will pass the medical.
“If everything goes well in the medical. I think it does because I’ve seen his Instagram. He does kung-fu, karate, running, basketball, football. He does everything so he must be fit,” Mourinho laughed. “Tuesday I will be there waiting for him. If that’s the situation then a good market for us. Bailly. Mkhitaryan. Ibra. One defender, one midfielder, one creative, one striker. I think the market was good for us. We need to work a lot. We need more weeks of work. I am happy for the next three weeks we have just a match at weekend. During the week we can work and we need to work.”
Asked specifically what Pogba will bring to United and what they could give him, Mourinho believes the former United midfielder — he left in 2012 for a $1.2 million compensation fee and will return for over ten times that amount — can achieve everything he wants to at Old Trafford.
“I think United is the perfect club to bring him to the level he wants to be. The Premier League is the perfect habitat for that,” Mourinho said. “If you want to be the best player in the world, I think if you go to Barcelona or Real Madrid you are in trouble because I don’t see the other two big guys let you develop into that level. Here he has the conditions to develop. In the most seen worldwide championship which is absolutely incredible. With a team that wants to build Man United to the top again. We have everything to give him. We know the reason why he wants to come to us. Money, he will get in any big club. That’s not a point. He comes becomes he knows the club, knows the city, knows many of the players. He wants to be an important part of the Man United project. So, hopefully everything goes well and he comes to our team.”
Mourinho started the press conference by dedicating the win to former Manchester United manager, and his former mentor, Louis Van Gaal.
Due to LVG’s side winning the FA Cup last season the Red Devils were able to take art in the Community Shield and subsequently win it.
“I want to dedicate the victory to Louis van Gaal because without him we would not be here today celebrating. He won the FA Cup to allow us to win this,” Mourinho said. “I have left many trophies to win after me. I won trophies and I left the club and no-one realized they were there because of me. I remember that this trophy I win because somebody won before me and allowed me to win. I dedicate to him and my seven players who weren’t involved. They have worked very hard but I have to make choices.”
Analyzing where United are at following this somewhat disjointed win, Mourinho revealed that they still have plenty of work to do, saying “in this moment we are not a super team but we are a team with the desire to work.” Zlatan Ibrahimovich scored the game-winner but looked a little off the pace and in midfield Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick were over run by an energetic Leicester side, especially in the second half.
Mourinho then stated a simple ambition for the season ahead: to win.
“My ambition is a stupid ambition. I have to confess. Because it is an impossible ambition. My ambition is to win every game. My ambition now is to win against Bournemouth. Very difficult. Can we win? We have to think about that. After Bournemouth, it doesn’t matter the result we play against Southampton. We want to win. We want to win every game. It is a very stupid motivation but if you look at it in a different perspective it is what we have to do. Improve, improve, improve in every match. That’s what we have to do to try to win.”