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Mourinho on Matic and Dier interest: 'We got the player I really wanted'

MANCHESTER, England -- Jose Mourinho insists he got the midfielder he wanted in the summer when he signed Nemanja Matic, despite Mauricio Pochettino's claims the Manchester United manager was interested in Eric Dier.

The Tottenham boss has claimed Mourinho waited for Dier in the tunnel following a 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford in December.

In his new book "Brave New World: Inside Pochettino's Spurs", the Argentine said that Dier was told in a meeting days later: "You aren't leaving because you signed a five-year deal with us in August."

Mourinho, however, maintains Matic, who arrived from Chelsea in a £35 million deal, was the midfielder he wanted.

"I have the player that I want to have, probably I have the player I didn't think it was possible to have but we got the player I really wanted," Mourinho told a news conference ahead of Tottenham's visit to Old Trafford on Saturday.

Mourinho, who refused to comment on Harry Kane's absence, is set to have Phil Jones available to face Spurs.

He also had positive news about Eric Bailly, who has missed the last five games with a groin injury.

Mourinho added: "I don't speak about injured players so don't ask me about Harry Kane, because I have to speak about Rojo, Ibrahimovic, Pogba, Carrick.

"Jones yeah, Bailly yeah. Jones is good, he was on the bench Tuesday, no need to play but he was ready, so he's really ready. Eric, let's see.

"One more training session but he's the only one from the injured group that can be ready."

Jose Mourinho at a prematch news conference.
Jose Mourinho was unwilling to discuss Tottenham striker Harry Kane at his prematch news conference.

Mourinho has also insisted Luke Shaw could have a future at United despite the defender saying, also in Pochettino's book, that he would like to be reunited with the former Southampton boss.

Shaw has struggled for opportunities under Mourinho and made just his second appearance of the season in the 2-0 Carabao Cup win over Swansea on Tuesday.

Mourinho said on Friday he was not upset by Shaw's glowing endorsement of Pochettino, but he added it will be difficult for the left-back to get the chances he needs to improve his fitness because of competition from Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian, Ashley Young and Marcos Rojo.

Shaw is out of contract in the summer, although United are set to activate an option to extend his deal until 2019.

Football Whispers looks at the key facts and stats ahead of Manchester United vs Tottenham.

Asked whether the 22-year-old still has a future at Old Trafford, Mourinho said: "Why not? Because of his words?

"If you want to speak about his words I would be very disappointed if his words were different.

"I am always disappointed when a player, because he has a new manager, the new manager becomes the best and the old manager becomes very bad, and football is full of examples of lack of character. Luke Shaw was just honest.

"The manager that helped him come to the first team, the manager that helped him develop in the best moment of his career, is the manager he doesn't forget, a manager he likes a lot, a manager that maybe one day he would like to be reunited again so for me the perfect words that show Luke Shaw's character in relation to the people he was happy with.

"He has a future here but the situation is not easy because he comes from injury after injury after injury he needs two, three, four, five or six matches in a row to play, to make mistakes, to get condition, to get match fitness and I cannot give him that.

"If he was a central midfielder then yes, because we only have two but at left-back we have so many options, so the situation is not easy. But he is in the squad, he works and maybe the opportunity comes."

Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.

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