Jose Mourinho is adamant Manchester United can still finish second in the Premier League – but insists winning the title is “impossible”.
United face Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Saturday lunchtime with a golden opportunity to steal a march on their rivals and enter the top four – even if only for a few hours.
Mourinho’s side have a game in hand on Liverpool and a win against the Cherries would see United jump ahead of both the Reds and Arsenal into fourth place – with Jurgen Klopp’s men facing the Gunners in the late kick off.
Manchester United transfer targets
Manchester United transfer targets
1/6 Jose Gimenez (Atletico Madrid)
The 21-year-old Uruguayan has already played 21 times for his country and has been touted as a future world-class centre-back. Currently on the books of Atletico Madrid, Gimenez is not a regular and a move in January for first-team football would surely appeal to him.
2/6 Victor Lindelof (Benfica)
The most recent player to be linked with the Red Devils, Lindelof is a 22-year-old centre-back currently plying his trade at Benfica. The Swedish international has been in fine form this season and could be tempted by a move to England in January.
3/6 Mesut Özil (Arsenal)
The German midfielder has emerged as a shock transfer target for the Red Devils as the Arsenal playmaker demands a substantial increase to his current £140,000 per week contract in North London.
4/6 Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
The French forward had a brilliant season in Spain last year and was top scorer and Player of the Tournament as he helped his country to the final of Euro 2016. Atletico Madrid would certainly not let him go on the cheap however.
5/6 Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid)
The third Atletico Madrid player reported to be on Mourinho’s wish-list, Carrasco is one of Belgium’s new generation of talent and, at just 23 years of age, has a long career ahead of him. The Belgian is an attacking midfielder who has added a ruthlessness in front of goal to his repertoire this season, contributing nine goals in all competitions.
6/6 Bruma (Galatasaray)
Galatasaray’s fleet-footed winger is rated at around £21.5m and has impressed in the Turkish league this season, receiving five Man of the Match awards in just ten starts so far. Bruma is a fantastic dribbler who would certainly provide competition for places on the left wing.
While goal difference means United will finish the weekend outside the top four regardless of the result at Anfield, Mourinho is aware that second place is a very achievable goal, with there being only five points separating the quintet on teams behind league leaders Chelsea.
He said: “Yes, to finish second is better than to finish third and to finish third is better than fourth and fourth is obviously better than not being in top four and not going to the Champions League.
“The second position is very difficult but it’s very possible. First is impossible.
“Second is possible and we have to fight for it, but the Europa League is very difficult.”
United had a week off from the Europa League this week but face a long trip to Russia to face FC Rostov in the competition next week, ahead of a huge FA Cup showdown with Chelsea the following Monday.
With United still battling on those two fronts, as well as chasing the Champions League places, Mourinho admitted he is planning for all three games at the same time and hinted he may leave players out for some games with an eye on the next one.
“I would say just details – the player that you feel cannot play three matches in a row, you have to think if he cannot play three, which one he rests,” Mourinho added.
“The player that has a small injury, but can play is better to play and risk or is better not to play and then you save him for the next two, this kind of situation, yes.
“So if you ask me do I know something about Rostov, or I start thinking about Rostov tomorrow after Bournemouth, I know a lot about Rostov.
“I had to do my work exactly because of what you say – how do they play? How am I going to play against them? Which players can be fundamental for me there?
“So maybe I don’t play someone against Bournemouth or Chelsea because I have Rostov two days after. I have to think about different matches at the same time.”Reuse content