Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho insists he has back-up options in mind if his world record bid for Juventus and France midfielder Paul Pogba ends in failure.
United are poised to make Pogba, 23, the first ever £100m footballer just four years after he left the club for just £800,000, having grown frustrated at a lack of opportunities.
“I don’t confirm, I don’t deny. He is a Juventus player and he is not a Man United player,” said Mourinho.
“We are calm, we know the profile of player we want. We have three faces to fill that profile and I am really confident that [executive vice-chairman Ed] Woodward and the owners will bring me that profile of player that I think the squad needs to have a good balance.”
The Portuguese echoed his Stamford Bridge successor Antonio Conte, who last week depicted himself as a tailor seeking the right tactical fit for his new team, as he explained Ibrahimovic’s absence from United’s current pre-season tour of China, where they are due to face Borussia Dortmund on Friday before neighbours Manchester City – and Mourinho’s nemesis Pep Guardiola – on Monday.
“The best suits are the suits by measure. I do the same for players,” he said.
“My decision on Zlatan is the consequence of many hours of study, analysis and discussion with my staff. We try to do suits by measure that are perfect for the person.”