Jose Mourinho believes Romelu Lukaku would have cost Manchester United £150million had he not rushed through a deal before Neymar’s record-breaking move to Paris Saint-Germain.
United paid Everton £75m for Lukaku in early July, weeks before PSG smashed the world transfer record with their £198m buy of Barcelona’s Neymar.
And Mourinho says had his striker purchase been left until the final days of the window, United would have faced a doubling of their transfer bill.
The Premier League leaders also brought in Nemanja Matic for £40m from Chelsea and Benfica’s Victor Lindelof for £30.7m as United got their business done early this summer.
And their manager says that was a deliberate ploy to avoid the bombshell Neymar’s move was set to drop on the transfer market.
‘I think we were very clever,’ Mourinho said in an exclusive interview with The Times. ‘We thought that something could happen that could change the market forever. After Neymar everything changed — and for the worse in terms of prices.
‘I think Lukaku on August 31 would have been £150 million. Matic would have been £60m or £70m. Neymar changed everything. If the biggest transfer in history had still been (Paul) Pogba, I think Philippe Coutinho would now be in Barcelona at £101million.
‘Lukaku and Matic, now, would have cost us £200 million in total. But because we did it in the first part of the summer, it was much less.’
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