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Alvaro Morata was priced out of a move to Manchester United, according to Jose Mourinho.
The Red Devils boss admitted for the first time out here in Los Angeles that he did try to buy the Real Madrid striker.
United offered £60million but Real demanded £80million and a deal fell down despite Morata wanting the move and personally intervening to try and smooth it through.
Mourinho said: “Yes, we have had interest, that is obvious and it’s public.
“We have not come to an economic agreement, that is obvious as well.
“But it’s Real Madrid’s right to ask for their players the amount of money that they want.
“We do not determine what the price is of a player of Real Madrid, Real Madrid do that and we didn’t arrive at an agreement with Real Madrid.
“I do not criticise Madrid and I am not going to criticise my board because my board has made the offer, and they have tried to reach an agreement during a time, and they didn’t come to an agreement. It’s simple.”
Mourinho has also been chasing Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic to fill a defensive midfield role and he was asked about that in his first press conference of their pre-season tour of the United States.
He said: “I can’t say any word about a player who is a Chelsea player, it’s difficult it’s the same with Morata, we have to respect the player, the club, the owner, the manager, I don’t want to be disrespectful.”
Mourinho admits he targeted four new players and is halfway there with the signing of Romelu Lukaku at £75million and Viktor Lindelof who cost £31million.
He said: “We don’t have our door closed, we are not happy with just Lukaku and Lindelof, we need more, we wanted four, so I would say 50 per cent of the job done.
“But I don’t want to say that because everything is so difficult I wouldn’t like to be in Ed Woodward’s position negotiating because everything is really difficult.
“So maybe we don’t get two, we get one but we need one more to give us more options.
“We have players that belong to the squad but cannot play for the next few months; Marcus Rojo, Ashley Young, Luke Shaw, Zlatan if he stays so we still need two more players I would say, at least one.
“But I don’t want to say Matic or any other name because I don’t think it’s correct.”
United are also chasing Ivan Perisic of Inter Milan but the Italian side won’t sell as it stands.