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Paul Scholes

Three injury tables take centre position in the middle of the dressing room with the players' allocated positions all set to face manager Jose Mourinho's monitor, from where the Portuguese coach will be most likely bark his instructions as he strives to gain Manchester United's first title in six seasons.

"I know there has been a lot of talk about pre-season in the press but I am sure behind the scenes, Jose has been giving them the right amount of work". Ivan Perisic, the Croatia worldwide, also featured prominently on Mourinho's wish list but it now seems that United's summer transfer business will be restricted to the arrivals of Fred, the injured Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant, signed from Stoke City as a third-choice goalkeeper.

Most of the Premier League clubs, especially two of the newly promoted teams, were very busy in the summer. As it stands, Alderweireld and Maguire are considered too expensive, while Bayern Munich have knocked back a loan move for Boateng.

Liverpool kick off their new Premier League campaign with a home game against West Ham on Sunday, and Klopp's men will be looking to send out a real statement of intent with a convincing win over Manuel Pellegrini's Hammers side.

Mourinho, who will be without the likes of Nemanja Matic, Antonio Valencia, Ander Herrera and Marcos Rojo on Friday, once again bemoaned the lack of preparation time for the start of the season, with many of his players having just returned to training after taking time off following the World Cup.

"They returned on Monday, trained Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and today so you can imagine they are not really fit and ready but we have needs", Mourinho said.

Pre-season has clearly been a frustrating time for Mourinho, while a perceived lack of respect for leading his side to second spot last term has got under his skin.

"It is hard to believe that we finished second because you are capable of making people that finish second look like they were relegated, and people who win nothing, finish below us, and you make them look like serial winners".

"My view is that it is hard for me to believe that we finished second", he said.

"So it's hard for me to understand or to feel or to believe that we finished second, which I keep saying that I - and sometimes it's also hard to believe - that I won eight championships and three Premier Leagues".

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