After the shortest offseason in more than a half-century, the Premier League returns Friday with Manchester United taking on Leicester City. United manager Jose Mourinho, entering his third season at Old Trafford, has looked like a Bassett Hound for most of the summer, predicting a “difficult season” for a team which finished second in May. Not enough money has been spent, says the Portuguese, who has seen three players added to his squad over the summer — Brazil midfielder Fred for $60 million, Portuguese defender Diogo Dalot ($24 million) and third-choice goalkeeper Lee Grant ($2 million).
“The other clubs who compete with us are really strong and already have fantastic teams. Or they are investing massively like Liverpool, who are buying everything and everybody,” Mourinho told MUTV after his team’s 1-0 friendly loss to Bayern Munich Sunday. So gloomy has Mourinho been during pre-season that former Premier League striker Chris Sutton has predicted that the ex-Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Chelsea boss will have walked through the Old Trafford exit by Christmas.