United boss José Mourinho insists that he "really wanted" Nemanja Matić over Tottenham's Eric Dier

The Manchester United manager has insisted that it was the Serbian midfielder that he wanted all along.

United boss José Mourinho insists that he "really wanted" Nemanja Matić over Tottenham's Eric Dier
Above: José Mourinho with Nemanja Matić after the 4-1 win over CSKA Moscow | Photo: Getty Images/Dan Mullan

Manchester United manager José Mourinho has insisted that he "really wanted" midfielder Nemanja Matić this summer.

Ahead of United's clash with Tottenham Hotspur this Saturday, Mauricio Pochettino accused the Portuguese coach of putting Spurs midfielder Eric Dier in a "compromising position."

"I have the player I want to have"

Mourinho splashed the cash once again in the summer as he looked to build upon a successful first season at Old Trafford which produced two major trophies.

He made four signings and one of those was a raid on his former club Chelsea to spend £40million on Serbian midfielder Matić

Matić has made an excellent start to the campaign for The Red Devils, however it has been suggested that the 29-year-old might not have been the first-choice option for Mourinho. 

Dier has been a long-term target for Dier in the last two summer windows for United. Those links looked as thought they had been put to bed with the signing of Matić but Pochettino brought the situation to light once again. 

The Argentine accused Mourinho in his new book of putting the young Englishman in a "compromising position", but ahead of their clash on Saturday lunch-time, Mourinho stated that he got the player he "really wanted" in the end. 

"I have the player that I want to have," Mourinho told his pre-match press conference. "Probably I have the player that I didn't think it was possible to have."

"But in the end," the coach added. "We got the player that I really wanted."


The only one I really want fit 

Mourinho will be hoping to return to winning ways in the league against Spurs having suffered the first defeat of the season to Huddersfield last Saturday.

The Red Devils will be given a slight boost by their passage into the last-eight of the Carabao Cup with a 2-0 win over Swansea City on Tuesday. 

The coach certainly took advantage of the opportunity to rest some of his key players with the likes of Scott McTominay and Axel Tuanzebe coming into the side for a rare start, however the trip to Wales didn't see an appearance from defenders Eric Bailly or Phil Jones

Bailly hasn't featured since the beginning of the international break after picking up an injury with the Ivory Coast while Jones is continuing his recovery from injury.

Jones is expected to return to the squad despite being an unused sub in Tuesday's win while Bailly faces a late fitness test, but Mourinho is hoping he will be fit enough for a long-awaited return. 

"Phil Jones is good, he was on the bench on Tuesday," he said, offering an update on his squad. "There was no need to play, but he was ready so he is really ready." 

"Eric, let's see," the coach warned. "[We have] one more training session. But he's the only one that I hope from that injured group that can be ready for tomorrow."