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Apparently, Jose Mourinho and Ed Woodward have a very hot relationship. But not, alas, in a sexy way. The opposite in fact. The Mail reports that Manchester United’s manager and their transfer guru are “at boiling point”, which basically means they don’t like each other anymore.
The pair are said to be “at loggerheads” and also “at war” over United’s transfer policy, based on a fundamental difference of opinion: Mourinho wants to buy some new players; Woodward doesn’t.
After spending big in the previous two summers since Mourinho took over at Old Trafford, this time around Woodward is “reluctant to release more funds”, much to the Special One’s chagrin.
Speaking on United’s pre-season tour of the USA yesterday (which he has seemingly hated every minute of, by the way), Mourinho stated: “I would like to have two more players. I think I am not going to get two.”
He added that he had given a list of five names to the club “a few months ago” and United have so far signed just three players (one of which is reserve goalkeeper Lee Grant, who with the best will in the world you can’t imagine featured on Mourinho’s shortlist of dream summer targets).
READ MORE: Jose admits Man Utd are in trouble
One of those remaining two (or three) names is surely a centre-back, with Leicester’s Harry Maguire, Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld and, more recently, Barcelona’s Yerry Mina all being linked to the club.
🔴 Jose Mourinho On Man Utd v Liverpool Friendly:
🗣 "It's Liverpool first team vs Manchester United kids."
📉 Average age of Liverpool's XI: 25
📈 Average age of Man Utd's XI: 26
— SPORF (@Sporf) July 28, 2018
The Mirror says Maguire is “keen” on linking up with Mourinho but Leicester do not want to sell him and the England defender is not going to “force” his departure. Plus, he is currently on holiday in Barbados, so he is probably more concerned with getting some decent snorkelling done.
Real Madrid make £100m Chelsea swoop
Another alleged Man Utd target, Willian of Chelsea, could instead be on his way to Real Madrid. The Mail says the European champions have launched a £100m double bid for the Brazilian midfielder and his Blues teammate Thibaut Courtois, with the Brazilian making up £65m of the total fee (and Courtois £35m, in case you are not good at maths).
Meanwhile Willian’s nemesis, the former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, has been offered a £5.5m-a-year deal to take over as the new coach of AC Milan, reports this Express.
If the Italian takes the job, it would probably save the Blues having him to pay him £9m in compensation for the final year of his Stamford Bridge contract. So if Conte is feeling particularly vindictive he still has the option of hanging loose for a season just to spite Roman Abramovich (while not doing any work). Tempting.
READ MORE: Chelsea hold secret transfer meeting
Elsewhere, Chelsea’s hopes of signing Jordan Pickford from Everton could be dented by the Toffees’ plans to offer the England shotstopper a new and improved contract (Times), Fulham are close to signing Swansea City centre-back Alfie Mawson for around £20m (Sky Sports) and Aston Villa’s billionaire takeover has given them the funds to make a second loan bid for West Ham’s Robert Snodgrass (Birmingham Mail). Hugely exciting times.