Jose Mourinho Appears to Make Antonio Conte Hair Transplant Dig During Presser – Bleacher Report
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Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho isn’t afraid to criticise rival managers, and he appears to have arrived at another target after seemingly taking aim at Chelsea manager Antonio Conte by making reference to his hair transplant.
Per ESPN’s Rob Dawson, the Special One was quizzed about Conte’s comments in which the Italian spoke of his desire to avoid a “Mourinho season” as Chelsea defend their Premier League title, and responded: “I could answer in many different ways but I am not going to lose my hair to speak about Antonio’s comments.”
Twitter user Oliver Forway provided contrasting photos of Conte before and after the transplant:
Oliver Forway @ForwayOliver
How did Conte go from being bald to having hair???? https://t.co/0WdkcSBWxk
Mourinho’s final season at Stamford Bridge saw the Blues fail spectacularly to defend the title, with the Portuguese relieved of his duties by December before the team limped to a 10th-placed finish.
The United manager also gave updates on Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic, who is rumoured to be close to joining the Red Devils and has seemingly been pictured in a United training top, and Marouane Fellaini, who has been linked with Galatasaray.
ESPN’s Alex Shaw shared the picture of Matic wearing the No. 31, which has been vacant since Bastian Schweinsteiger left the club in January:
Alex Shaw @AlexShawESPN
A clearer image of the supposed Matic leak. If this really is shopped, whoever did it should be applauded. https://t.co/4f6JMma9xI
Per Dawson, Mourinho said:
“I am waiting for news. I know that he wants that very, very much. When a player wants very, very much, the chance is bigger.
“I think we have a chance but in football until it’s official, I saw so many things happen that I refuse to say more than I am telling you now. No. 31 is a free number. We have a few free and 31 is one of them.”
Football writer Liam Canning believes Matic could be an excellent addition to the side:
Liam Canning @LiamPaulCanning
The main reason for signing Matić is the hope that he will allow Pogba space to roam forward. If he can do that, it’s a fantastic signing.
Indeed, while his capture may not be particularly exciting for many United fans—he turns 29 on August 1, he’s not the most mobile and he’s not a marquee name—he’s a functional player who could allow the club’s other stars to shine even brighter.
As for Fellaini, Mourinho dismissed the notion he might leave:
B/R Football @brfootball
Mourinho on Galatasaray’s interest in Marouane Fellaini: “Forget it”. https://t.co/c4yIwsCkkF
The Belgian scored in the 3-0 friendly win over Valerenga on Sunday, breaking the deadlock with a header from Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Squawka Football supplied a further demonstration of the midfielder’s aerial prowess:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Marouane Fellaini won 94 aerial duels in the Premier League last season; at least 14 more than any other midfielder.
While Fellaini may never convince large swathes of the Old Trafford faithful that he’s of the required quality to play for United, a player of his height and physicality has his uses, and Mourinho evidently recognises what he can bring to the table.
Further, with United short on midfield cover even if Matic arrives, allowing him to depart would be unwise at this stage.