Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho and his joyless pre-season of frustration
Even by Mourinho's sullen standards, it has been quite a performance.
'One of my biggest goals in life is to make Jose smile — it doesn't happen very often,' was Klopp's response after Mourinho said the Liverpool manager's U-turn on big spending was 'funny'.
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho (centre) has endured a miserable pre-season so far
Jurgen Klopp joked earlier this month: 'One of my biggest goals in life is to make Jose smile'
Very little else has amused him on Manchester United's joyless pre-season trek around America with half a squad and plenty more problems than Mourinho would have anticipated.
The main source of his frustration is United's failure to deliver the signings he wants — and soon.
Not for the first time in his career, Mourinho is struggling to hide his impatience with his employers as Old Trafford chief Ed Woodward races to beat an early transfer deadline of August 9.
United open the Premier League campaign at home to Leicester City on a Friday night 24 hours later, a decision by Sky Sports that has also irked Mourinho.
His concerns that the start of the season will come too soon are understandable.
United have been without up to 12 World Cup players on tour, many of whom will not make an appearance here at all.
One of the few big names available to Mourinho, Alexis Sanchez, missed the first week of the trip because of visa issues. Another, Anthony Martial, made a sudden exit to be at the birth of his baby boy in Paris and has made it clear that he will not be coming back.
Captain Antonio Valencia has also gone, the victim of a calf muscle tear that will keep him out of the start of the season. New £19million signing Diogo Dalot cannot replace him because he is unavailable until September as he recovers from a knee injury.
Mourinho wants at least two more signings — ideally a centre back and a forward — but has been told by Woodward that United must sell before they buy.
Martial and Marcos Rojo are the two who have been earmarked to go, but offloading them for the right price in time to bring in replacements before the window closes will not be easy.
No wonder Mourinho has been at his malevolent worst in the US.
Mourinho named Antonio Valencia (centre) as captain before the right back suffered an injury
Mourinho has been frustrated by the lack of senior stars available to play on United's US trip
The 55-year-old is unhappy with the quality of squad available to him and their performances so far as United have recorded three rather pointless draws against Club America, San Jose Earthquakes and AC Milan in front of disappointing attendances.
United's game against Liverpool in the early hours of this morning was expected to buck that trend, with a crowd of around 100,000 expected in Michigan, but this has largely been a pre-season tour to forget.
Mourinho has moaned about the lack of first-team players after the World Cup.
Given the chance to praise Paul Pogba's success at the tournament in Russia, there has been only more thinly veiled criticism of a player he believes can offer so much more for his club.
When asked if United have the squad to challenge for the title this season, Mourinho's refusal to answer was telling.
Maybe his mind is going back to the summer of 2015, when a poor transfer window and awful start to the season cost Chelsea dear. Mourinho was sacked by Christmas, just seven months after winning the title, with the champions in 16th place.
The United boss walked on the pitch ahead of Saturday night's friendly against rivals Liverpool
Mourinho has rarely smiled all summer and doesn't appear pleased with United's preparations
There are shades of that summer now in his disaffection with the board and murmurings of discontent in camp.
A coach who has never stayed much longer than three years at any of his previous clubs is entering his third season at Old Trafford in less than great shape.
Mourinho continues to live a hotel existence in the Lowry, away from his family in London, and can no longer call upon the support of his trusted lieutenant, Rui Faria, who left United at the end of last season. The two had worked together for 16 years, and the impact of Faria's departure — both as a coach and confidante for Mourinho — should not be underestimated.
It is building up to be a crucial season for United and their manager.
A prosaic style of football was tolerated when he started out by winning the Europa League, League Cup and Community Shield in his first year in charge at Old Trafford.
But the frustration among supporters was palpable as a swashbuckling Manchester City swept to the title last season, leaving United 19 points behind in their wake.
They simply cannot afford a slow start this time around, and Mourinho knows it.
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Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group
July 28, 2018
Sources: Daily Mail
of his centre-back targets over the summer. Mourinho followed it up by saying he should be described as United’s ‘head coach’ rather than manager.</p><p>Bridge now believes the club are eyeing up potential new faces to work as a director of football to oversee key off-field decisions.</p><p>"They are trying to move to a structural approach to transfers," he told the Transfer Talk podcast.</p><p>"If you think back to Tottenham 10 years ago, they were signing players, the manager was getting two or three years.</p><p>"They wanted a structure in place so when the manager left it didn't create a whole load of spending of good money after bad.</p><p>"When the manager left, the new manager wasn't having to come in and say 'I don't want seven or eight of their players' and having to sell them quickly for a reduced price, losing loads and loads of money.</p><p>"If you look at Manchester United, look at the value they are having from their transfers. Are they getting the kind of value they need from players? Are they even getting players in their prime?</p><p>"You look at Chelsea signing Hazard. Even if he goes in the next year they would have him from 20 to 27 and they will get a big fee.</p><p>"With Manchester United, when was the last player they made a significant profit on?</p><p>"I can't think of any. Maybe Cristiano Ronaldo. They spent £13million on him and sold him for £80m and they had some very good years out of him.</p><p>"I don't think they are getting that kind of player anymore. Fergie's old school scouting network used to have lots out there.</p><p>"If they are trying to get new bodies into the background and if Mourinho does go they will start again and say the club are going to sign the players, the new manager, the new coach will come in and actually coach the players."</p><p>Mourinho cut an angry figure all of pre-season, prompting the bookies to make him the favourite to be the first manager out the door.</p><p>He then added more uncertainty around his future last week when he hit out at the club for his role.</p><p>“That’s football, that’s football management, I think football is changing and probably football managers should be called head coaches. I think we are more the head coach than the manager,” he said.</p><p>“Of course, it will be a difficult season for everybody. For us it will be a difficult season because I had my plans, and I had my plans for many months, and I started the Premier League season without a situation I thought. We have to wait until the end of November to understand if we can fight for the title.</p><p>“We played against a team that invest more than us. They spent more money than us, so in the Premier League we must get used to teams with players of the same quality that we have.</p><p>“Forget the name, the history, the shirt, every match is difficult.</p><p>“I think it's the last time we speak about it, it's over, finished, the market is closed and no more talk about it.”</p><p> See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive. </p>
rcelona, who may chance their arm by making an improved bid before the La Liga transfer window shuts on August 31.</p><p>The Catalan giants have already failed with an offer of £45million plus Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes, with both players since moving to Marco Silva's Everton.</p><p>But the Daily Mail report that, despite Mourinho’s comments yesterday, the 25-year-old is eager to leave Old Trafford behind.</p><p>Mourinho was quizzed on his United midfielder yesterday, just days after reports of a fresh bust-up emerged.</p><p>Yet the 55-year-old insisted their was no rift by saying: "The truth is we are together for two years and a couple of weeks and I’ve never been so happy with him as I am now, that’s the truth.</p><p>“I cannot demand more from him, I cannot ask more from him, he came here on a Monday, trained three days, I asked for his support for his contribution in an important match for us when the team had difficulties.</p><p>“He did it better and for more time than we could expect, when he says he did it for the fans and for the team is exactly what I want, is exactly what I demand from my players.</p><p>“He’s working well, playing well, he does for the fans, he does for the team and that’s what I want, to play for the team and I couldn’t be happier than what I am.”</p><p>Barcelona have little chance of signing the United star this summer due to the fact the Red Devils would be unable to sign a replacement.</p><p>Reports in Italy, however, have previously claimed that Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been earmarked as a potential successor.</p><p>Pogba was given the captaincy for United during their Premier League clash against Leicester last week.</p><p>The France international looked at home in the role, scoring a penalty and producing a performance that Mourinho later gushed over.</p><p>And, speaking ahead of their match against Brighton on Sunday, Mourinho confirmed Pogba would keep the armband with Antonio Valencia ruled out.</p><p>“For the next match Paul will be captain and then it will stay with Antonio Valencia,” he said.</p><p>"Last season I made Paul captain against Basel we thought he’s a young guy but a good personality, he was made in academy, normally a starting line-up player, so he has conditions to be captain in the future.</p><p>"But when Antonio comes back he will be the captain.”</p><p> See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive. </p>
sion.</p><p>The Yankees have reached that portion of their schedule during which they must turn it up a notch after a long period of mediocre baseball.</p><p>For the mild-mannered Boone that is essentially a fire and brimstone comment.</p><p>His Yankees promptly went out and fell behind 4-0 in the first inning, but came back to beat the dreadful Blue Jays on another rainy night at Yankee Stadium, showing the kind of grit it is going to take to lead them where they want to go. </p><p>The game was called with one out in the bottom of the seventh after a one-hour, 25-minute rain delay.</p><p>Sure, the Yankees own a 76-46 record, but it’s time to get a little more serious with such pitiful teams as the Marlins, Orioles, White Sox and Tigers following the weekend series against the Blue Jays. </p><p>Especially with the 1998 World Championship Yankees in the house on Saturday. That ’98 team was super talented, but also showed super grit — and that’s what these Yankees need to show.</p><p>“It was a good test for us, we took a gut punch and punched right back,’’ said Giancarlo Stanton, who lifted his 31st home run and 298th of his career in the seventh, a 435-foot shot to right-center. </p><p>That thunder brought rain and after a strikeout by the next batter, Aaron Hicks, play was stopped.</p><p>The victory puts the Yankees at 14-14 since July 14 and 26-24 since June 21 when they held a two-game lead over the Red Sox. Yes, that long ago.</p><p>With these next 15 games against some of the worst teams in baseball, it’s time to make the most of the situation. No injury excuses. Not against these teams. Not against this inferior level of competition.</p><p>It is a positive to see Boone turn up the heat on his team after losing three of the past four at home, including scoring only two runs the previous two games against the Rays. </p><p>After all these punching bags comes the Yankees’ next big trip, beginning in Oakland on Sept. 3 when they will be tested. They will begin a 15-game stretch during which they will play nine games against real baseball teams — the Athletics, Mariners and Red Sox.</p><p>Boone wants to make sure the Yankees take care of business against the soft schedule so when they get to Sept. 3 they are not fighting for their wild-card lives. </p><p>The Yankees want to have the first wild card in hand because six of the final 13 games of the season are against the Red Sox, with a three-game series at the Trop against the Rays thrown in there as well.</p><p>The Yankees are 12-16 versus the Red Sox and Rays and 64-30 against everyone else.</p><p>There were positive signs Friday night. The bullpen bailed out starter Lance Lynn, who gave up four runs in the first inning. </p><p>Accidental right fielder Neil Walker drilled a three-run, go-ahead home run in the fourth that put the Yankees on top 5-4. After the Blue Jays tied the score in the fifth, the Yankees went ahead on a Gleyber Torres RBI ground out, thanks in part to a leadoff walk to Hicks by Toronto reliever Joe Biagini, who followed up Marcus Stroman’s horrible performance with nothing but trouble.</p><p>Torres doubled to start the fourth-inning rally and said after the game said he is setting up earlier to be ready for the pitch. Good adjustment. </p><p>“I thought our at-bats tonight were strong,’’ Boone said.</p><p> News Corp. is a network of leading companies in the world of diversified media, news, and information services. </p>
sion.</p><p>Trey Mancini has not had the type of season many expected, not after a stellar rookie campaign (.293, 24 homers, 78 RBIs, .826 OPS) in which he finished third in AL Rookie of the Year voting behind Aaron Judge and Andrew Benintendi.</p><p>In his first 91 games this season, the 26-year-old hit a disgusting .216 (though it still was better than Bryce Harper’s first-half average, and he was an All-Star) with 12 homers, 26 RBIs, 91 strikeouts, 32 walks and a .655 OPS.</p><p>Maybe it is a sophomore slump. Maybe it is the result of being on the Orioles, the worst team in baseball. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter anymore because it is in the past. All that matters is what he does from here on out.</p><p>Mancini has started to turn things around in his attempt to regain fantasy owners’ trust. In his first 24 games since the All-Star break, he hit .309 with five homers, 13 RBIs, 12 runs and a .857 OPS. This is production that is going to waste, as he remains available in 65 percent or more of ESPN and Yahoo leagues after owners soured on him early this year.</p><p>Though it is a small sample size, Mancini has produced a .282 average in August over the course of his career. The only months he has hit for a better average have come in June (.290) and September/October, when he has hit .307. A strong finish for Mancini, who is eligible at first base and in the outfield and still has plenty of valuable power, also could mean a strong finish for your squad.</p><p>Mancini is one of many players starting to find a groove when fantasy owners are in need of production at the plate the most.</p><p>Look at the Pirates’ Josh Bell — who finished third in the 2017 NL Rookie of the Year voting (behind Cody Bellinger and Paul DeJong) after hitting .255 with 26 homers, 90 RBIs and a .800 OPS. This year, his power has been non-existent (just eight homers) and he suffered from a subpar first half (.261, five homers, 46 RBIs, .738 OPS). The 26-year-old, however, has started to wake up, hitting .298 with three homers, eight RBIs and a .893 OPS since the break. He is available in more than half of ESPN and Yahoo leagues.</p><p>If Michael Conforto’s lackluster first half (.216 with 11 homers, 30 RBIs, .710 OPS) had to do with offseason shoulder surgery, it doesn’t matter now. He entered Friday hitting .320 with six homers, 17 RBIs and a .970 OPS in the second half and remains available in 47 percent or more of all leagues.</p><p>Another Met who has turned on the jets is Amed Rosario, who entered Friday hitting .288 with five stolen bases and 10 RBIs this month. He had stolen eight bases and scored 20 runs since the Midsummer Classic.</p><p>In his first 14 games this month, San Diego’s Hunter Renfroe has reminded us why he was such a highly touted prospect. He was 16-for-54 (.296) with five homers, 14 RBIs, just eight strikeouts and a .946 OPS. He is available in about 85 percent of all leagues.</p><p>Tampa Bay’s Willy Adames hit .386 with three homers, eight RBIs and a 1.110 OPS in his first 14 games this month. To make himself even more valuable, he stole four bases in that span, too.</p><p>St. Louis’ Harrison Bader entered Friday hitting .367 (.325 against lefties) with three homers, 13 runs, three stolen bases and a 1.051 OPS in his first 15 games this month. He is available in about 80 percent of all leagues.</p><p>Some other hot hitters, owned in less than 50 percent of all leagues, to consider adding include Washington’s 33-year-old Ryan Zimmerman, who was the most added player in ESPN leagues this week after hitting .351 with three homers and 14 RBIs in his first 13 games this month, Toronto’s Aledmys Diaz, Boston’s Jackie Bradley Jr. and Minnesota’s Jorge Polanco, who entered Friday with at least one hit in 13 of his first 14 games this month while hitting .316 with two homers, 11 RBIs and a .825 OPS.</p><p> News Corp. is a network of leading companies in the world of diversified media, news, and information services. </p>
on the bench against Leicester last week.</p><p>Mourinho also confirmed he fined Martial around £180,000 for his no-show.</p><p>But Giggs hopes Martial can refocus and rediscover the form which made him one of the Premier League’s most dangerous attackers.</p><p>“We have seen glances of his qualities, which are definitely there, but it's up to him to prove he deserves a starting place again.”</p><p>Sunday’s clash with Brighton at the AMEX could see the return of Romelu Lukaku to the starting line-up.</p><p>Lukaku arrived back at United late from the World Cup but trained well enough last week to be named a substitute against Leicester and come off the bench in the second half.</p><p>And Giggs says he expects United’s top goalscorer last season to lead the attack.</p><p>He added: “I would imagine Romelu Lukaku, if he is fit, will come back into the line-up at Brighton as he's obviously Jose Mourinho's first choice, but United do have options in Marcus Rashford and Alexis Sanchez as well if he's not ready.</p><p>“I think he's proven over the last five or six years to regularly get around the 20-goal mark so he's the main man for the centre-forward role; it's up to the others to step up and provide competition.”</p><p> See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive. </p>
e it took them to sack Antonio Conte and appoint former Napoli tactician Maurizio Sarri as his successor, with the Italian only named the new boss in mid-July with less than four weeks of the window remaining.</p><p>Jorginho, back-up goalkeeper Rob Green, Kepa Arrizabalaga - signed as a Thibaut Courtois replacement - and on-loan midfielder Mateo Kovacic all came in while the west London club also rebuffed interest in star man Eden Hazard and Willian.</p><p>But despite keeping hold of two key forwards, Sarri wanted to add to his options in the final third with Gonzalo Higuain, Robert Lewandowski, Wilfried Zaha Fekir and Pulisic among those linked.</p><p>And Goal have revealed that Chelsea held talks with Lyon for Fekir but decided against a late deal for the France international, who almost joined Liverpool in June, due to their other similar options.</p><p>Yet their report also suggests that Sarri and co. could revisit their interest in American teenage prodigy Pulisic either in the January window or in next summer’s market.</p><p>Chelsea had weighed up a £65million bid to Dortmund for the 19-year-old having been told of his potential availability with just two years left on his contract with the Bundesliga giants.</p><p>And though they decided against making an offer, Goal say that Sarri remains keen to add extra quality in attack in the months to come and continue to hold firm interest in Pulisic.</p><p>The Dortmund ace could attract interest from a whole host of European clubs, with Liverpool among the other Premier League teams to show strong interest previously, if he does not commit to a new contract.</p><p>Pulisic has emerged as one of the continent’s hottest young prospects and he is already viewed as the US’ best player after nine goals in 21 caps - although his strikes could not help them to achieve qualification for the World Cup earlier this summer.</p><p>Goal say that there are some fears at Chelsea that Real Madrid will return for Hazard, with whom they were linked with a British transfer record approach following Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Juventus.</p><p>Chelsea managed to keep hold of the Belgian and remain determined to tie him down to a new £300,000-a-week contract at Stamford Bridge with just two years left to run on his current deal.</p><p>But Hazard is thought to be one of Real’s biggest targets to eventually replace Ronaldo as the new leading figure at the Bernabeu and that could see them test the Blues’ resolve again in the future.</p><p>Despite the potential for Chelsea to go back in for Pulisic in the next 12 months, Sarri still has Willian, Pedro - who recently penned a new contract to stay at Chelsea until 2020- and up-and-coming youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi as his options in wide positions.</p><p>The latter, academy starlet Hudson-Odoi, staked his claim for a first-team role in pre-season and though he missed out on a place in the match day squad for their 3-0 opening day win at Huddersfield last weekend, is expected to be handed opportunities throughout the season.</p><p>The 17-year-old has two years left on his terms at Chelsea with a five-year contract said to be on the table for the England under-17 World Cup winner who has attracted interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona.</p><p> See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive. </p>
-of-favour playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Arsenal as part of the deal back in January.</p><p>But under Jose Mourinho the Chilean international has been far from his explosive best. He produced only two goals and three assists in 14 appearances following eight goals and three assists in the first half of the season for Arsenal with his performances unusually subdued.</p><p>And Sanchez was disappointing again as United raised the curtain on the new Premier League season with a 2-1 win at home to Leicester City last weekend.</p><p>The 29-year-old lost the ball 23 times against the Foxes and though he won the penalty which Paul Pogba opened the scoring from just three minutes in, had an evening largely to forget.</p><p>Sanchez has very rarely displayed the kind of performance that made him one of the Premier league’s best players while he was at the Gunners.</p><p>But former United regular Brown - who won five Premier League titles and made 362 appearances for the club - expects Sanchez to recapture his form sooner rather than later in 2018-19.</p><p>And he also hopes to Marcus Rashford and want-away forward Anthony Martial, who agitated for a move away in the summer transfer window, cement important roles in Mourinho’s plans for the campaign.</p><p> He’s a fantastic talent and I’m sure he’ll be getting better all the time. </p><p>“We all have faith in him, he was a fantastic player at Arsenal, he got bought in January.</p><p>“It takes a while to settle in and after one game [of the season] I don’t think you can really say that.</p><p>“But you know he’s a fantastic talent and I’m sure he’ll be getting better all the time.</p><p>“I like Martial, I really do. I know he didn’t get much game-time last season but he’s a player that if I was playing against he’s just a pure threat with his speed.</p><p>“He’s a player that United have who definitely can change a game and hopefully he can get in the team.</p><p>“Players will be fighting for positions and in that area there’s a good battle going on they’ve got fantastic players.</p><p>“I like Rashford, complete threat I would call it, I’d hate to play against him. I think he’s going to get better every year now, same with [Jesse] Lingard.</p><p>“They’re all sort of the same position and that’s what I mean, they’ve got to prove it, they’ve got to prove it in training, prove it to the manager and then do it in the games.</p><p>“And I’m guessing that that’s what it’ll come down to at the end of the day.”</p><p>United return to action tomorrow with a trip to Brighton (4pm) where Sanchez will likely operate on the left side of attack.</p><p>Elsewhere, Romelu Lukaku and Ashley Young could return to the starting line-up with Antonio Valencia, Diogo Dalot, Marcos Rojo, Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera and Sergio Romero all sidelined through injury.</p><p> See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive. </p>
emi-finals with a 6-7, 7-6, 6-2 win over his Swiss compatriot at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in the early hours of Saturday morning UK time.</p><p>Wawrinka is only just back from a long-term knee injury which has seen him sink down the rankings to world No 151 but he claimed the first set in impressive fashion.</p><p>Yet while he was just two points away from taking the second set and making the final four, World No 2 Federer - a seven-time winner at this tournament - bounced back on the hard court.</p><p>And the first seed benefitted from a later break due to adverse weather conditions, breaking for the first time at the eighth attempt, to eventually come out on top at the Masters 1000 tournament.</p><p>Yet despite claiming the spoils, Federer revealed his delight at seeing his friend Wawrinka back in better shape after their two-hour, 16-minute clash.</p><p>“Stan has the power, and I'm so glad he's back on the tour and playing well and moving well. So I really enjoyed the match for what it was,” Federer told ATP World Tour.</p><p>“It's difficult to always play against him, but I'm happy I was able to find a way in the breaker in the second, because it was a frustrating night, for me, for the most period, and in the third I was able to find a way.</p><p>“I think it was partially because he maybe dropped his level, for sure, but maybe me, I also played a bit better then.”</p><p> I really enjoyed the match for what it was. </p><p>Federer was in action twice in one day, beating Leonardo Mayer in straights sets in a third round match delayed by rain before later returning to see off Wawrinka and move an eighth Cincinnati semi-final. </p><p>And his countryman also had to complete a double-header, beating Marton Fucsovics before returning to court later the same day.</p><p>Federer added: “It was exciting to go through something new, only it was something I have done for the second time of my career maybe at the professional level. </p><p>“Felt like two separate days, actually, because this morning it was daytime, or this afternoon it was daytime, windy and breezy.</p><p>“And then we came out in the nighttime and it was black, and the sky [was] totally different. No wind at all. Different atmosphere. It was quite interesting, actually,”</p><p>Wawrinka said: “For sure it was a great level. I think I'm playing great in general. I'm playing better every day, every week. </p><p>“Last week was really important and really good for myself, for my tennis, for my confidence. I'm happy to see where I am right now. I had a tough match last week against Rafa [Nadal]. Close match, also. </p><p>“Today was against Roger. They are No. 1 and No. 2 in the world. I beat [Diego] Schwartzman, I beat [Kei] Nishikori, so the level is good.</p><p>“I need to keep improving, keep working, keep doing the right thing and keep pushing myself. For sure tonight I'm sad and disappointed to lose, but for me it's a big victory for myself after what I had last year. </p><p>“It was exactly one year ago. To see where I was also few weeks ago, I'm really happy to be here.”</p><p>Federer faces Belgium's David Goffin in the semis after Novak Djokovic takes on Marin Cilic in the other final-four match.</p><p> See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive. </p>
sion.</p><p>Tyson Fury wants to remind everyone he is the lineal heavyweight champion. He’s the man who beat the man, having defeated Wladimir Klitschko for the WBA, WBO and IBO titles by unanimous decision in November 2015. It was Klitschko’s first loss in 11 years.</p><p>But the new champion was plagued by bouts of depression and drug addiction and didn’t fight again for nearly three years. The colorful Fury made his return June 9, with a fourth-round TKO over an outclassed Sefer Seferi, and continues his comeback Saturday with a scheduled 10-round bout against former two-time heavyweight title contender Francesco Pianeta, of Germany, in Belfast, Northern Ireland.</p><p>The bout is part of a card headlined by Carl Frampton’s interim featherweight title defense against Luke Jackson. The bouts can be seen on Showtime Boxing’s Facebook page and Showtime YouTube beginning at 3:30 p.m. A replay will be televised on Showtime Extreme at 10 p.m.</p><p>Fury (26-0, 19 KOs) was stripped of his belts during his long absence. But with a win over Seferi, the United Kingdom native could get a title shot in his next bout, possibly against WBC champion Deontay Wilder.</p><p>“The old Tyson Fury is gone,” said the 6-foot-9 Briton. “The Tyson Fury from three years ago and beyond is finished. The new Tyson Fury is here now and my promise is to put on a good fight. I do want to win a world title again, so I have to raise my game. I’ve been out of the ring for three years nearly. It’s been challenging and a long, hard battle to get back to where I am.”</p><p>Wilder is in Belfast and raising a ruckus in hopes of landing a fight with Fury next spring. During the weigh-in, Wilder kept screaming his slogan, “Bomb Squad,” drawing the ire of Tyson’s brother, John Fury, who kept telling Wilder to “shut up” and who had to be restrained from going after the WBC champion.</p><p>Wilder had been chasing a fight with unified champion Anthony Joshua of the U.K., but the two couldn’t reach an agreement before Joshua penned a deal to defend against Alexander Povetkin on Sept. 22 at Wembley Stadium. Now Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) is chasing Fury.</p><p>“If I come through this then Wilder has a chance to fight me for the lineal championship,” Fury said. “I’m not the one who gets the chance to fight him. Let’s face it, he hasn’t really fought anybody. He has 40 fights and it is what it is. We’re not here to talk about Wilder at all. It may as well be a million years in the future. I’ve got to concentrate on this man in front of me [Pianeta]. I’m sure he wants to take my glory away from me.”</p><p> News Corp. is a network of leading companies in the world of diversified media, news, and information services. </p>
Cup though as he inspired his country to victory.</p><p>His impressive displays have seen him linked with a move to Real Madrid and Barcelona with both clubs thought to have shown interest.</p><p>Barca remain the frontrunners for his signature despite United’s reluctance to sell before the Spanish transfer window shuts on August 31.</p><p> It's always the same with players. Real Madrid and Barcelona come in for you and it turns people's heads </p><p>And former Arsenal star Merson feels the potential opportunity to play at Spain’s top two clubs has had an impact on Pogba’s time at United.</p><p>"I'd rather Jose be happy than Pogba. But as we saw last season, Pogba didn't pull up too many trees,” Merson told Sky Sports.</p><p>“He had a great World Cup, don't get me wrong.</p><p>"But it's always the same with players. Real Madrid and Barcelona come in for you and it turns people's heads.</p><p>“Everyone wants to play for those two teams, that's the way it is around the world. We see it with [Philippe] Coutinho and other players.</p><p>"It's turned his head and you're going to have the agent [Mino Raiola] joining in with his little quotes to the newspapers, things like that. He's a World Cup winner now.</p><p>"I think he just has to prove it on the pitch [for United].</p><p>“I’ve always said he's a great talent. He was thrown in, £90m, that's a lot of pressure, playing for who are, in my opinion, the biggest club in the world. I just think he needs time."</p><p>Pogba silenced his critics last weekend when he scored from the penalty spot in United’s 2-1 win over Leicester in the Premier league opener.</p><p>And ahead of the match, Mourinho was quick to downplay speculation of a rift between the pair.</p><p>"The truth is we are together for two years and a couple of weeks, I've never been so happy with him as I am now," said Mourinho, who played Pogba for 83 minutes against Leicester just days after the player returned to training with the club.</p><p>"I cannot demand more from him, I cannot ask more from him. He came here on a Monday, he trained three days, I asked for his support, contribution in a match where we had difficulties.</p><p>"He did it, did it better and for more time than we could expect.</p><p>"When he says he did it for the fans and for the team it's exactly what I want."</p><p>Pogba remains under contract with the Red Devils until 2021.</p><p> See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive. </p>