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Yet, a shortened window allied to the tight turnaround from the final stages of the World Cup just four weeks ago, left English clubs in a rush against time to get deals done and facing inflated fees when buying from Europe's other top leagues, where the window doesn't close till later this month.

The Red Devils had been linked with moves for Toby Alderweireld, Harry Maguire and Jerome Boateng before a surprise candidate emerged in the form of Chelsea's Kurt Zouma late on Wednesday night.

United's boss, about to begin his third season at the helm at Old Trafford, has cut a disgruntled figure during the summer, apparently unhappy with the club's transfer window activity.

"I will focus on the players that are available, so I am not even thinking about that list of injured players I gave you, (Nemanja) Matic, (Antonio) Valencia and so on".

"When you look at Manchester City, possibly Liverpool, I don't think they [United] have the quality of those two teams at the minute", Scholes said to Sky Sports.

Asked whether he he believed there would be any movement in or out of Old Trafford on deadline day, Mourinho replied: "The information I have is no".

Saudi rules out mediation in Canada row, mulls new measures
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Ministry called the statement " a major, unacceptable affront to the kingdom's laws and judicial process ". The dispute looks set to damage what is a modest bilateral trade relationship worth almost $4 billion a year.

But this was only a "soft" closure - with some deals still able to be completed after this deadline.

Spanish legend Xabi Alonso brought a touch of the X factor to the CFA today as he dropped in to watch Pep Guardiola's squad step up preparations ahead of Sunday's Premier League opener at Arsenal. "You can not expect them to be fit". I think back to back titles is an obsession for them. We go with everything we have in that first match.

Marcus Rashford, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku made slightly early returns so could be involved on Friday, perhaps helping to boost the mood of a manager who has looked downbeat for much of the summer. I told that during pre-season.

The Portuguese believes runners-up are often portrayed as if they have been relegated and those who finish below them are presented as "serial winners". "I won eight championships and three Premier Leagues but I keep feeling the second last season was one of my biggest achievements in the game".

"If we don't make our team better, it will be a hard season for us".


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