The Portuguese insists that he is unsure how the campaign is going to start, given the absence of a number of players

Jose Mourinho admits he “fears” the start of the Premier League after a tumultuous pre-season at Manchester United.

United have embarked on a tour of the United States, playing Club America, San Jose Earthquakes, AC Milan and Liverpool, but have won just the once so far, on penalties against the Serie A giants, and were thumped 4-1 by Jurgen Klopp’s men. A clash with Real Madrid now looms.

Mourinho has been without several key players during the trip, including the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Marouane Fellaini, due to their World Cup exploits.

The Red Devils manager has subsequently had to dip into his youth team and back-up brigade, utilising such players as Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Axel Tuanzebe and Tahith Chong.

Having already criticised the make-up of his squad, Mourinho has now admitted that he is worried about the start of the campaign, with such little time to work with his first-team stars.

“This is a very strange pre-season. It’s not our fault,” he told beIN SPORTS.

“They did as always a fantastic job to organise it, and we must give the players at the World Cup a little bit of a holiday. The pre-season in terms of organisation is fantastic but we don’t have our players and that’s a big frustration especially because we go back to Europe and when we arrive, we start the Premier League, with all the risks it takes to us.

“We are going to start without the players that were involved in the World Cup, without proper training for them and it’s going to be hard. Honestly, I fear it a bit.”

United open their campaign against Leicester City on August 10, and the transfer window is set to close 24 hours prior. 

They have so far signed Brazilian midfielder Fred, defender Diogo Dalot and back-up goalkeeper Lee Grant.

Mourinho, though, is keen to bolster his squad further and has stated that he hopes to sign two more players, though he may be forced to settle for one more acquisition. Reports claim that he is in the market for a central defender, links persist with Leicester’s Harry Maguire and Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld, and a right winger.

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