“Manchester United WILL challenge next year!”

Jose Mourinho insists Manchester United will challenge for the Premier League title next season.

The Manchester United boss has had to watch on as his former club, spearheaded by Antonio Conte, stride to Premier League glory.

While they have reached the Europa League final, many fans will feel Mourinho’s first season with United has not quite been as successful as they perhaps anticipated.

Mourinho believes that next season will be much more fruitful for his side.

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He said: “This season we are not close to winning the league. There are clubs with more stability than us, better squads, more time to work.

“I cannot say that but I’m pretty sure that from a mental and a tactical point of view, we have had a very good evolution.

“If, in the next transfer window, we manage to be successful, I think we can [challenge for the title].

“The one that I really enjoy doing is the transition from the first to the second season because I know what I do, I know what I don’t do.

“There is work to be done. The good thing is the club knows, the board knows, I know and we are together on this process.

“It was not the kind of club and team where you were ready to arrive and to go with everything and go direct to the big titles.”

Mourinho also commented on Paul Pogba, who has struggled in the eyes of some to live up to his huge price tag – a price tag that Mourinho believes may be hindering Pogba.

“The problem is the price tag on his back. I hope next summer he is no longer the highest transfer fee and then the pressure goes to somebody else.

“If his transfer fee was half of what it was, everyone would be saying; ‘What a buy, he is playing more than good.’

“Everybody expects performances according to that huge transfer fee and that brings pressure and sometimes unfair analysis.

“He had very good matches. The best in the world is almost always the goalscorer, I feel a bit unfairly, so to say (Pogba) is the best in the world is difficult to say.

“To be the best midfield player, I think so. I don’t see another one with everything he has. He has to develop, of course he has to.”

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