Jose Mourinho was eager to sign the Bayern Munich centre-back in 2018, but the Old Trafford hierarchy thought differently
Former Red Devils boss Mourinho, who was sacked in December, had been desperate to add reinforcements to his ailing backline in the summer of 2018.
As well as Boateng, Mourinho identified Toby Alderweireld and Harry Maguire, who eventually joined the Old Trafford outfit this month, to bolster the defence.
However, he was left frustrated as the club failed to do a deal to bring a new centre-back in.
And Sky Sports pundit and former United right-back Neville believes the club stopped the move for Boateng, a decision he agrees with.
“What the club have realised, what the Glazers have realised and probably what Ed Woodward has realised in the last 18 months is that they’ve stopped saying ‘yes’ to managers,” Neville said on Sky Bet’s Big Season Debate .
“Jose wanted to sign Boateng for £50 million. I probably would’ve blocked that myself if I was the owner of a football club.
“Bayern don’t let anyone go if they’re half decent. We’ve been burnt on [Bastian] Schweinsteiger, they didn’t want to pay the money for Maguire at the time, I think the club are changing the policy with the same people.”
Neville believes United’s transfer policy has become more structured and, now, after several seasons of poor recruitment, the club knows the exact profile of player they want to sign.
“I think for the first time this summer, there is a profile of player that it looks like they’re going for.
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“They announced at the end of the season that they were going to sign young players that were more fitting with what United would do in the past. I don’t disagree with what they’ve done this summer.
“Man United were never going to get the best player in the world or the top 10 best players in the world this summer, they weren’t going to come.”
This summer’s dealings appear to be more frutiful, at least on the opening day, as Manchester United beat Chelsea 4-0 – Maguire kept a clean sheet, as did Aaron Wan-Bissaka, while Daniel James found the net.