Moaning Jose Mourinho resigned to not signing anyone else before transfer window slam shut

Jose Mourinho has cut a morose figure this summer, complains about the state of his squad. (AFP)
Updated 09 August 2018

Moaning Jose Mourinho resigned to not signing anyone else before transfer window slam shut

  • United boss has warned that without new signings the season could be a tough one for the Old Trafford club.
  • The Reds finished second last season, but a full 19 points behind rivals Manchester City.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho does not expect to add to his squad as the Premier League transfer window closes on Thursday, despite warning a difficult season lies ahead for the English giants without further recruits.
For the first time the Premier League deadline has been moved forward to the day before the season kicks off when United host Leicester City on Friday.
Unlike in England, the window for the rest of Europe’s leading leagues doesn’t close until later in August, meaning Premier League clubs have faced even more inflated prices when buying from the continent.
Chelsea shattered the world record fee for a goalkeeper with an €80 million ($92 million) swoop for Athletic Bilbao’s Kepa Arrizabalaga on Wednesday to replace Belgian international Thibaut Courtois, who has joined European champions Real Madrid.
As part of that deal, Croatia midfielder Mateo Kovacic has also joined Chelsea on a season-long loan deal.
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 defense.
Harry Maguire, who could face United for Leicester on Friday, Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng and Toby Alderweireld of Tottenham were all linked with United, while Atletico Madrid’s Diego Godin emerged as a late target on Thursday. But Mourinho now says he is focusing on the players already at his disposal.
“The information I have is no,” said Mourinho when asked if he would be adding to his squad.
“I’m not confident, I’m not confident and the market closes today so it is time at least for me to stop thinking about the market because the market will be closed.”
Mourinho has been further irked by seeing rivals Liverpool steal a march on United to emerge as the second favorites for the title behind Manchester City thanks to a more than £170 million splurge on new signings.
However, Liverpool did their business early and are not expected to be busy on deadline day after recruiting Brazilian international Alisson Becker for a short-lived world record €72.5 million fee for a goalkeeper and midfielders Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri.
Despite slashing a club record £60 million on signing Riyad Mahrez, City have enjoyed a uieter window after spending over £200 million last summer on assembling a squad that smashed a host of Premier League records in romping toward the title.
Australian teenager Daniel Arzani joined the English champions from sister club Melbourne City on Thursday but is expected to be sent on loan to Celtic.
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.
The move was designed to ease disruption in the first few weeks of the campaign after a number of high-profile players including Alexis Sanchez, Philippe Coutinho and Virgil van Dijk missed matches at the start of last season due to transfer speculation.
“If you compare with Europe, you are at a complete disadvantage and it does not help the clubs in the Premier League,” Pochettino said on Spurs’ tour of the United States.
“It’s not going to help the Premier League clubs because we’re going to compete in Europe and in the Champions League but have 20 days less.”
So far Tottenham’s interest in Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish has been rebuffed with the Championship club holding out for a reported fee in excess of £30 million.
Elsewhere, Everton are hopeful of tying up a deal for Barcelona center-back Yerry Mina, who scored three times for Colombia at the World Cup.
Wolves could also build on an impressive summer of dealing on their return to the top flight with a deal for Belgian international Leander Dendoncker from Anderlecht.


New Sharqiya Baja to take place Thursday

Updated 12 December 2019

New Sharqiya Baja to take place Thursday

ALKHOBAR: The new Sharqiya Baja 2019, the fifth and final round of the inaugural Saudi Toyota Desert Rally Championship, will take place at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday with a timed super special stage of 4.32 km. 

Ahead of a field of 51 cars, nine NUTVs, 10 motorcycles, 23 quads and one truck will be two further days of competitive action through the deserts of the Eastern Province and 474.86 competitive kilometers in a compact route of 746.58 km. 

 Several international drivers, most notably Spaniard Carlos Sainz, Zimbabwe’s Conrad Rautenbach, Abu Dhabi Racing’s Sheikh Khalid Al-Qassimi and Czech Miroslav Zapletal will use the opportunity to finalize their preparations for January’s Dakar Rally.

In contrast, the massive Saudi contingent is spread across several categories and sporting disciplines, and the series finale will decide the outcome of the drivers’ championship and the winner of the quad section.

 Saudi Arabia’s leading drivers, Yazeed Al-Rajhi (Toyota Hilux) and Yasir Seaidan (X-raid Buggy), have fought a fascinating tussle for supremacy in the new series.

 Seaidan won the Aseer Rally opener and finished behind his rival at the Qassim Rally, the AlUla-Neom event and the Riyadh Rally. 

 The pair are now separated by just three points, heading into the showdown on Half Moon Bay.

An outright victory would give either driver the title, with 25 points awarded to the winner, 18 for second place and 15 for third. The two drivers, however, face strong opposition from a plethora of Saudi rivals. 

 ED Racing’s Essa Al-Dossari is a distant third in the series in his Nissan Navara, and can confirm that position by staying ahead of Mutair Al-Shammeri, Khalid Al-Feraihi and Faris Al-Shammeri. 

 Salman Al-Shammeri has already clinched the T2 title by scoring maximum points in the category for series production cross-country vehicles in three of the four rallies. His closest challenger is Yousef Al-Suwaidi, winner of the T2 in the Qassim Rally.

 Saleh Al-Saif confirmed success in the T3 before the recent event in Riyadh, and tackled that rally in the NUTV class, while Ibrahim Al-Muhanna, Osama Al-Sanad and Raed Abo Theeb have cruised to the T4 title in a Mercedes truck. 

Yousef Al-Dhaif has an unassailable lead over Fahad Al-Naim and Khalil and Majid Al-Tuwaijri in the NUTV Championship, but the latter trio will be battling to finish as runners-up in the popular category. Motorcycle honors have already gone to Mishal Alghuneim with Abdullah Al-Helal finishing the series in second place, but a host of riders still have a shot at claiming third overall.

Abdulmajeed Al-Khulaifi won the quad section at the Qassim and AlUla-Neom rallies, but a retirement in Riyadh has left the door open for Riyadh Al-Oraifan to snatch the title in the Eastern Province. He trails his fellow Yamaha rider by 21 points, with 25 available for the outright win.

 Several riders can still finish third, but Abdul Aziz Al-Shayban heads into the ceremonial start on Half Moon Bay leading Riyadh event-winner Sufiyan Al-Omar by six points. 

The event is organized by the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation (SAMF), under the chairmanship of Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal and the supervision of former FIA Middle East champion Abdullah Bakhashab. 

 The new Baja runs with the support of the SAMF, the General Sports Authority, Abdul Latif Jameel Motors (Toyota), the MBC Group, Al-Arabia Outdoors and the Saudi Research and Marketing Group.

 The event is being considered as an official candidate for future inclusion in the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas.