Interviewer: Jose, have you played a game in this kind of heat and humidity before? And how difficult does it make it?
Jose: Yes, I did many times because I come to Asia with all my previous clubs. I played in China with all my previous clubs. And I know what it is. It is difficult for me and I play on the touchline. Imagine the guys inside, the ones that have to work. I think it affects a lot, affects the intensity of the game. The pitch is also normally dry, even if everybody makes an effort to try to give the best conditions and to try to water before the game, and at half time maybe. It is not possible to have the best conditions. And the accumulation of these factors is really difficult, especially for my boys – they are training 10 days – they have 15 training sessions, Borussia different. They have played already five matches, they started training two weeks before us, so I imagine their condition is much better than ours. But I think it’s good for us, I think it’s a good experience for us, and even by the mental point of view, to play under difficult circumstances as a team is good. We are going to face difficult conditions during a season. Not this kind of weather, the other one – the colds, the wet – so, let’s try to do our best and let’s try to please our cans because one of the reasons we are here is because of the fans. It’s not because of us, because to have a good preparation, sure, we will have much better conditions in other parts of the globe. The temperature at this moment is much more adapted to our level of football. We come here for the fans, and for the fans we have to make the effort to try to give the best possible game of football.
Interviewer: It has been reported that Pogba is on his way to Man United. Do you confirm, or do you deny?
Jose: I don’t confirm, and I don’t deny, I cannot tell. First of all, because I don’t think it is correct to speak about players of other clubs. he’s a Juventus player, and he’s not a Man United player.Only thing I can say is that my board, the directors, they did fantastic work to complete 75% of the job I asked them to do. I asked them 4 players; to be more accurate, I asked them four profiles of players I need. And I give them a few options, and they did for me 75% of the job with Ibrahimovic, Mkhitaryan and Bailly. And they have just 25% to do until the 31st of August. So, we are in great conditions to have what I would consider a good market for us. We are calm, we know the profile of player we want – we have three faces to fill that profile, and I’m very confident that Mr. Woodward and the others will bring me that profile of player which I think this squad needs to have a good balance.
Interviewer: Jose, can you just explain how hype using this pre season? Because you said on Saturday that some of the players who are here wouldn’t play. You left Zlatan at home even though he didn’t get as far in the Euros as some of the players who are here. There are other players who played much longer in the Euros, and other guys who will play here. How does that all piece together?
Jose: The best suits are the suits by measure, right? They should be better, suits by measure – than you go to the shop and buy a size that may fit you well or not so well. I do the same for the players, and they are not two players the same. Decision with Zlatan is a consequence of many hours of study, of analyse, of discussion with my staff, and in spite of he was out of the Euros one match before the English guys. Everything is different, the body is different, the mind is different, personality, time he needs to adapt, time he needs to have holidays – even things you don’t know when you don’t have to know, which is to prepare in a different way. So we do, at the training level we try to do suits by measure – perfect for the person. And the way I’m building the team or trying to build the team is more important for me than players from other positions than the one that I think is going to play as the striker. I need to change the profile of this team, in relation to other dynamics, and the striker will be the easy one to finish up.
Interviewer: Jose, first of all, welcome to China. And you may face the great team from the Bundesliga – Dortmund – tomorrow night in Shanghai. And they really have a significant amount of talented young players. And you just received one of the magnificent midfield players of Dortmund in Henrikh. So have you had any talk or any personal advice against Dortmund?
Jose: (Almost dismissively) We don’t analyze opponents in this moment of the season. It is not the time to be worried with the results, not a moment to be worried with your opponent’s qualities. We’re not focused on that in pre season. Now, we do our work, we try to improve our qualities, we forget the opponent, so in this moment, Dortmund is not important to us.
Interviewer: Hi Luke, start off by telling us how good it feels to be back on the pitch now.
Luke: It’s the best feeling ever, I think. You know I said when I had my first game against Wigan in Saturday, I felt so emotionally over the way the crowd loved me with the cheers when I had my first touch and that meant a lot to me. And obviously, my family were there to see it and… no, like I said, it’s the best feeling.
Interviewer: Luke, your injury was so bad – it seemed horrific to people looking at it, let alone experiencing it. Did you ever have a fear that you would never get back?
Luke: Ummm… Not a fear, but I think when I got it, the first thought that went through my head was ‘Am I gonna play football again?’ or ‘How long am I gonna be out for?’. It wasn’t too much of the pain you know, because I could deal with that at that point. But yeah, there was a fear of how long it was gonna take, or if I was going to be back playing football. But as I was going through it, I knew I was going to come back and now I’m just looking past it, I’m not gonna look back. I’m just gonna look forward now, and obviously my leg feels great and I just wanna push on in this pre season and get fully fit.
Interviewer: Jose Mourinho nearly signed you for Chelsea two years ago. Obviously he liked working with you as a player. You’re looking forward to working with him? And what sort of success for Manchester United in this coming season? Is it at least challenging for the title properly?
Luke: Yeah, I’m really looking forward to working with him, you know. We’ve done a couple of weeks now and I’ve spoken to him a couple of times and we players have talked as well. Like you said, we are going to be challenging for every sort of title we can be going for this season. <audio-redacted-here> Maybe there’s a couple more to come, you know, we all feel strong as a group and its important now to, you know, with the tactical side, with what Jose wants us to do in games. So, practicing that in training sessions, hopefully we can take that into games, and you know, so, very strong side.
Interviewer: I don’t think it’s much of a secret that you grew up supporting Chelsea. Does that make Jose Mourinho extra special for you, and do you have any pre conceived notions? And secondly, Sam Allardyce is set to be appointed new England manager. Is that something you welcome?
Luke: Of course, when I was younger I did support then but I don’t think it’s a special thing for me. But obviously, I was very happy with the appointment. I was very much looking forward to working under him, and with the FA stuff, I haven’t paid too much attention to that. I don’t think it’s been announced yet. But, I’m over here now, and I just want to focus on the two games that I have here, before I think the England squad.
Interviewer: Luke, the club have signed some players, and they’re probably going to sign some players. Is there a feeling in the squad that you’re almost playing for your futures now? Because obviously some players are going to have to leave.
Luke: I don’t know really. I think you’ve always got to play for your future. There’s always gonna be players coming in. We’re at Manchester United, so there’s obviously going to be people coming in your position, so I think you’ve just got to get used to that. Yeah, and of course, I think everyone’s looked normal; no one has looked like they’ve quit believing. You don’t know. We don’t speak about that, they obviously keep it private. But everyone looks to me normal, and enjoying the training that we’re doing at the moment.