Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has claimed that Romelu Lukaku’s price tag could have increased to £150m, had he failed to sign the Belgian striker in the first part of the summer transfer window.
Speaking to the Times, the former Chelsea manager said that Neymar’s transfer from Barcelona to PSG last month for an eye-popping world record £199m set a new benchmark, and there would have been massive changes in the price tags had he not rushed to seal the transfers of certain United players like Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic.
Mourinho stated: “I think we were very clever. We thought that something could happen that could change the market forever. Normally the last part of the market is less expensive, but this season, after Neymar [left Barcelona for PSG in a world-record £199m deal], everything changed — and changed for the worse in terms of prices.
“I think Lukaku on August 31 would have been £150 million. Matic would have been £60 million or £70 million. Neymar changed everything. If the biggest transfer in history had still been Pogba, I think Philippe Coutinho [the Liverpool playmaker] would now be in Barcelona at £101 million.
“People look to the £200 million figure now. Now the players of £20 million became £40 million, the players of £40 million became £60 million and everything changed. Lukaku and Matic, now, would have cost us £200 million in total.
“But because we did it in the first part of the summer, it was much less. I think we did well in financial terms and well in preparation terms, getting them before the season started. That is not crucial but it is important.”
In his illustrious managerial career, Mourinho has never stayed with any of the clubs for much longer, but the Portuguese tactician now went on to reveal his desire to remain at Old Trafford for a longer period than any of his previous clubs.
“If people say that because I move from club to club, they’re right, but I don’t think I am [short-termist],” he said. “I prepare clubs for success. I think I prepare clubs in a way where, when I leave, the new manager arrives at a top club. And that is not short-term even if you leave.”
Written by Pragadeesh Shanmugam
United fan since Edwin Van der Sar denied Nicolas Anelka’s penalty to earn a dramatic Euro glory. Firmly believes that Lionel Messi deserves to win the Ballon d’Or until he plays this sport. One time writer for GiveMeSport and Roar. A regular contributor to Sportskeeda and BlameFootball.