When Jose Mourinho talks, he invariably makes headlines. When he doesn’t, his message can be even more effective.
That was the case when addressing the media here in Los Angeles on Tuesday when the Manchester United manager issued his latest statement in what is becoming an increasingly frustrating transfer window.
Mourinho knows the power of his words – but his refusal to answer a question about his side’s title ambitions spoke volumes. He wants two more players – and he wants the world to know.
Asked if his current squad could wrest the Premier League title from Manchester City next season, he said: “I don’t answer your question.”
Asked why, there was still no response.
Message received – and it’s impossible to think it didn’t make its way through to Ed Woodward.
Mourinho’s darkening mood has become a theme of this tour, which started with him bemoaning the absence of his World Cup stars and declaring his fears for the season ahead.
That was interpreted as a clear message to his executive vice-chairman to press on with the transfer business he believes is necessary to turn United into champions.
The pair met up days later and will do so again towards the end of the tour in Detroit or Miami.
But Mourinho has wasted no time in trying to drive home his point in the meantime, with messages of both the covert and overt variety.
In an interview with ESPN, he confirmed the need for two more arrivals, following the signings of Fred, Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant for a combined £75m.
Just 24 hours later came his ‘no comment’ to United’s title chances.
He is making little attempt to disguise his mood and is content to issue public messages to Woodward if necessary after insisting last week he was in the dark over the club’s transfer business.
Ivan Perisic and Harry Maguire are players he believes will fill the gaps in his squad – but with less than two weeks before the window closes, his heightening anxiety is understandable.
The change in his demeanour was noticeable in the space of just six days between his two press conferences at United’s UCLA training base.
If there’s still no movement by the time his squad touch down in Miami at the end of the week, he is unlikely to repeat the silent treatment – there could be fireworks.
Pogba’s unusual travelling companion
Paul Pogba is in LA – but not with Mourinho’s squad.
France’s World Cup-winning hero loves to holiday here – and has been given extra time off following his exploits in Russia.
He’s been joined by Marouane Fellaini, Stephen Nzonzi, Adnan Januzaj, Sumuel Umtiti and one other special guest… the World Cup trophy.
We can only assume it’s a replica – albeit an impressive one – but Pogba was happy to show it off in a group shot with his friends on Instagram.
Dalot settles in quickly
It hasn’t taken new signing Diogo Dalot to feel right at home at United.
Wandering around the club’s Montage Hotel base in Beverly Hills, the 19-year-old was seen fist-bumping the badge on his shirt.
He won’t be available until September after arriving from Porto with a meniscus injury – but Mourinho has made it clear he and Antonio Valencia will battle for the right back spot next season.
Mourinho is convinced Dalot is the long-term solution in that position – and has no concerns about throwing him in at the deep end after citing his concerns about Valencia’s fitness for the coming season.
Get all the latest Manchester United news first with our new app. Download it here now.