JOSE MOURINHO says it is now HIS team at Manchester United — after turning the club around.
The Special One feels the Red Devils are ready to challenge for the title, having been also-rans under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal.
And his confidence comes from the major shake-up at Old Trafford in his year in charge.
Romelu Lukaku is this summer’s star signing to help fire United to the top of the table but manager Mourinho reckons everything has changed in the past 12 months.
He said: “In many ways, it is my team. In terms of the squad, this is my second transfer window. I was thinking, three transfer windows, I need that. But after two windows I have a good group and a football club much better equipped.
“We are much better organised in the areas that support the first-team squad. We are much better organised at every level.
“So we will go for it this season. We are going to try to win the title.
“We are going to try to give a hard fight to the top teams in Europe in the Champions League. And I always had respect and the desire to do well in the English cups and I always liked to go to the finals.
“We have a good squad — a good squad also in numbers.
“We also have people coming later — Ashley Young, Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, maybe Zlatan. They can still be like new players for us later in the season, so we are fine.”
That is why Mourinho is warning his title rivals that he is back to his best as a boss, three seasons after winning the Premier League and getting sacked by Chelsea.
His first season at United was a year of building — and now he is ready to get to the top again.
The Portuguese added: “I want to play West Ham a difficult match, then go to Swansea for another difficult match. I want the Champions League to start. I want, I want! I’m on fire! But I will behave on the touchline, even if goals are offside.”
All eyes will be on Lukaku today as United’s £75million man makes his debut against the Hammers today.
But Mourinho says a massive signing for United was Nemanja Matic from champions Chelsea for £40m.
He said: “When I joined Man United last year, I thought we needed a kind of Matic. But there are not many like that, just a couple.
“When this season I got a call that Matic wants to play for me, he wants to come to Manchester United and he can make it happen, I thought he was the perfect player for me.
“It’s not just for his qualities but my relationship with him.”
Mourinho says the Serb’s consistency is what makes him a winner, explaining: “He is one of those players where there are no question marks with him.
“He’s 29, with five years in the Premier League and lots of experience. He’s a player who gives me what I like, which is consistency.
“I trust he is going to perform, so I think he is a fantastic signing.”
United have been outspent by neighbours Manchester City but Mourinho has warned them it takes more than cash to be a winner.
He said: “To buy lots of good players is important. Better squads are better equipped to win the title. That is normal, but that is not enough.
“I think every one of us is equipped to win the title.
“I think Tottenham, without any spending, are equipped to win because they have a fantastic team, fantastic manager, great stability. Man City — fantastic boss, great spending, already very good players, they are equipped.
“Arsenal the same. Great, experienced manager, same team. They didn’t sell, like some were expecting, the top players — Ozil, Alexis.
“Liverpool are equipped. Chelsea are the champions, lost some players but bought some players.
“It is difficult to say who is better equipped. I think the competition can be better than ever.”
MANCHESTER UNITED (likely): De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Lindelof, Blind, Matic, Herrera, Pogba, Rashford, Lukaku, Mkhitaryan.
WEST HAM: Hart, Zabaleta, Ogbonna, Fonte, Masuaku, Noble, Obiang, Fernandes, Ayew, Arnautovic, Hernandez.