Dublin, Aug 2 (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said Wednesday he does not believe the record- shattering 222 million euro (USD 260 million) transfer fee Paris St Germain are willing to pay for Neymar is expensive.
But the Reds boss, speaking after his side beat Sampdoria 2-1 in Dublin in a pre-season friendly, is concerned how the staggering figure will affect future transfers.
Mourinho shelled out 105.2 million euros (USD 111 million) last summer to re-sign their former midfielder Paul Pogba from Juventus, but the French outfit are poised to double that record to tempt the Brazilian from Barcelona.
“When we signed Paul Pogba, I said he was not expensive,” Mourinho said.
“Expensive are the ones that get to a certain level without a certain quality. I don’t think USD 200 million for Neymar is expensive. Expensive is the fact there will now be more players at GBP 100m, more players at GBP 50m, more players at GBP 60m — that’s the problem.
“Neymar is one of the best players in the world, so commercially that is very strong but the problem is not Neymar — the problem is the consequences.”
Mourinho was speaking after a late Juan Mata goal gave his United team victory in their final pre-season game, after a Dennis Praet strike had cancelled out Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s first half goal.
The win puts United in a confident mood ahead of next Tuesday’s UEFA Super Cup clash with Real Madrid in Macedonia.
Mourinho revealed the club are likely to appeal the two- game European ban handed to Phil Jones after verbally abusing anti-doping officials after the Europa League final win in May.
“Put yourself in his position. He wins a European cup and wants to celebrate with his team,” Mourinho said.
“He wants to get the cup, the medal and be in the pictures but one doctor wants to close him in a small room because of the doping control. It’s very hard to control a player in this situation and UEFA should consider this. It’s not a normal match — it’s a cup, a medal, a celebration. It’s everything.
“There was no wrongdoing in his behaviour, just a human desire to celebrate. I feel really sorry for him and I don’t think it’s fair. I would (appeal) if I was him. If you do that you have the risk of even more punishment but it’s a decision I will leave with him.” AFP KHS
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.