Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho does not think he will make significant additions to his squad in January, largely due to the complexities of the current transfer market.
Speaking to the media in his pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to Southampton on Saturday, the boss indicated he once again does not expect many incomings when the market reopens in the New Year.
“I don’t think honestly we are going to sign [anybody], and, if we do, I would say one player. I don’t see us going for more than that,”said Jose.
The boss also admitted the nature of the modern transfer window means it is more difficult than ever to sign the Premier League’s top talents.
“I give you an example - Tottenham,“ he explained. ”With all respect, Tottenham is an amazing club, but can you go to Tottenham and buy their best players? No, because they don’t sell. Or because they are so powerful that they can say 'no'.
“A few years ago, who was Tottenham’s best player? Michael Carrick [who joined United in 2006]. And, a few years later, who was the best player? Berbatov [who moved to Old Trafford in 2008].
“Can we go now and bring in Harry Kane? Dele Alli? Christian Eriksen? Son Heung-min? Can we go there and bring the guys here? No.”
Since becoming United boss in 2016, Jose has signed 11 first-team players, only three of which have come from Premier League clubs - Romelu Lukaku (Everton), Nemanja Matic (Chelsea) and Alexis (Arsenal).
And the boss thinks the financial strength of the division means clubs are now less reliant on selling players to raise capital.
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“Football changes. It’s more difficult to buy players of a high level,” he said.
“The clubs are powerful. The clubs don’t want to sell, and to sell is to go to absolutely incredible levels.
“Before, the smaller clubs, they were almost begging the big clubs: ‘Get my best player, I need to sell. Please, you are powerful, buy my best player.’ In this moment, they don’t want to sell.
“It’s more difficult to make the team better and stronger with buys, unless you do what some clubs do and, for some reason, they can do what other clubs cannot do, which is: ‘I need a right-back and a left-back’. Send away the ones you have and buy four new ones. It’s difficult. So we do what we can.”
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