Allardyce: Man Utd 'held to ransom' in transfer market

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Mourinho had been desperate to add a defender to his squad before the Premier League kick-off against Leicester at Old Trafford on Friday but proposed deals for Harry Maguire, Toby Alderweireld, Yerry Mina, Jerome Boateng and Diego Godin never materialised.

Several transfer targets were identified but failed to materialise and it seems the United boss doesn't fancy his chances of closing the considerable gap on Champions City with the pool of players left at Old Trafford.

And the wait is finally over, as the Premier League is back tonight.

But his comments have caused outrage amongst some United fans and sparked a row over whether the producers of the show he appeared on, ESPN FC had an anti Manchester United agenda.

Three early points and a flawless start to the season. It's not like Manchester United to do it like that.

There were rumors of him returning to Juventus and joining Cristiano Ronaldo in Italy, but the biggest suitor has been Barcelona, who is looking to bolster its midfield despite bringing in Arturo Vidal, Arthur and Malcolm this summer.

Manchester United are unbeaten in their last seven Premier League games against Leicester City, winning four and drawing three, and have lost just one of the last 18 (W13 D4). The Red Devils and the Foxes have had just 24 meetings between them.

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"Manchester United haven't got them as early as Jose would have liked".

Antonio Valencia, Marcos Rojo, Diogo Dalot, Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic are all injured, while Jose Mourinho will check on the fitness of those that returned late from the World Cup.

Provisional squad: De Gea, Grant, Darmian, Fosu-Mensah, Shaw, Mitchell, Young, Greenwood, Lindelof, Smalling, Jones, Bailly, Pogba, McTominay, Garner, Fred, Fellaini, Mata, Chong, Lingard, Martial, Sanchez, Rashford, Lukaku.

But Allardyce has some sympathy for United's chiefs, given the prices they were quoted for various players.

Kovacic is not the only Croatian on the move, with Leicester securing 21-year-old defender Filip Benkovic from Dinamo Zagreb for an undisclosed fee understood to be worth in the region of £13m.

The fall out of Manchester United's tremendously frustrating summer could yet lead to the biggest explosion of all, with Ed Woodward and Jose Mourinho at loggerheads over the transfer policy at the club.