Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho reiterated the belief that he will only sign one player before the transfer deadline, despite his demands for two.
Mourinho has cut a frustrated figure during the pre-season tour of the United States, where the Red Devils have failed to impress without a number of their World Cup stars.
United’s lack of transfer activity following the big-money arrival of Fred and Portuguese teenager Diogo Dalot has been the source of Mourinho’s discontent after the disgruntled tactician provided the club with a list of five targets months ago.
Leicester City defender Harry Maguire, Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld, Chelsea star Willian and Inter winger Ivan Perisic have been linked with moves to Old Trafford as United try to dethrone Premier League champions Manchester City.
Asked if he was confident of signing two players before the window closes prior to the start of the season, Mourinho told beIN SPORTS: “No. I’m confident I’ll get one.
“I think two is not what I will get. I think in every pre-season it happens basically the same with probably every club, which the manager wants more. It is our nature and our way to always want more for your team.
“But club decisions are different. Normally you don’t get what you want which basically happened throughout my career. If I sign one player before the window closes, that’s fine.”
“More or less, I know. It’s not going to be very different,” Mourinho said when asked if he knew his best starting XI, with Nemanja Matic injured following surgery, while Antonio Valencia is also nursing a problem.
“We basically have the same players. The players we have bought one is a goalkeeper cover [Lee Grant], one is a 19-year-old kid, so in fact we have one new player which is Fred, so of course our team is not going to be very different.”
United open their Premier League campaign against Leicester on August 10 and Mourinho’s preparations have been hampered by injuries and the absence of stars like Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard following the World Cup.
“I agree that when the season starts the transfer window closes,” said Mourinho. “I’m not a big fan of one player starting the season with one club and then a couple of weeks later the window is open, he moves to another club and he plays against his former club – I really don’t like that.
“I agree totally with the window closing at the same time as the Premier League starts. What I don’t agree with is that the Premier League starts now.
“You look at other countries with lots of players in the World Cup they start later – Spain and Italy starts later. The Premier League could and should do that.”
Mourinho also discussed Pogba and his performances at the World Cup as France reigned supreme – the United boss once again highlighting the need for the star midfielder to focus in Manchester.
Pogba has been linked with a return to Juventus having struggled for consistency at United, while he was benched for both legs of United’s Champions League last-16 exit to Sevilla and substituted in Premier League losses to Tottenham and Newcastle United.
“The World Cup takes a month and for one month players are in a closed camp, isolated from the external world, isolated from commercial compromises, isolated from every possible influence, Mourinho said.
“They are there, just for that. Dimensions of the matches are getting bigger and bigger. When they fell they are going to the knockout phase and can win the World Cup, they close each other. It’s a strong shell. They just think about football. It’s the perfect habitat for a young player to grow up and flourish.”