Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho opens up on Old Trafford problems: This is why we're struggling



Posted Saturday, December 01, 2018 by Express.co.uk

Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho opens up on Old Trafford problems: This is why we're struggling
Jose Mourinho claimed that Manchester United cannot compete with rivals in the transfer market (Image: Getty)

JOSE MOURINHO claims Manchester United are struggling because they no longer rule the transfer market in England.

Mourinho, who has revealed that Alexis Sanchez is set to miss six weeks with a hamstring injury, said United - seventh in the Premier League and 14 points off leaders Manchester City - have lost their unrivalled power to buy any player they want and are suffering as a result.

In the past, United raided Tottenham for high-profile signings such as Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov. But Mourinho said there is no way United could now take prized assets Harry Kane, Deli Alli or Christian Eriksen away from Spurs.

“Is Manchester United by its history, by its dimension, bigger than Tottenham?” said Mourinho. “But can you buy Tottenham’s best players? No, because they don’t sell. Of course, they are so powerful, they can say no.

“A few years ago, who was Tottenham’s best player? Carrick. And a few years later, who was the best player? Berbatov.

“Can we go there now and bring Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eriksen, Son? Can we go there and bring those players here? No. So who is more powerful now? Them or us?”

Mourinho has spent about £382.5million since taking over at United, while City rival Pep Guardiola has presided over an estimated £525m overhaul of his record-breaking title-winning squad.

Asked why United were unable to match City in terms of spending, despite being the richest club in the world with an estimated value of £3billion, Mourinho pointed an accusing finger at the Blues and the way they have gone about their transfer business.

“I cannot say the answer, because one of the answers you had a few weeks ago,” said Mourinho, in a clear reference to the allegations City flouted Financial Fair Play regulations to enable them spend more on their squad.

“But football has changed. It’s more difficult to buy players of a high, high, high level. Before, the smaller clubs were almost begging the big clubs ‘get my best players, I need to sell – please, you are powerful, buy my best player’. In this moment, they don’t want to sell.

“So it’s more difficult to make the team better and stronger with buying, unless you do what some clubs do and for some reason they can do this and others cannot, which is to say, ‘I need a right-back and a left-back, send away the ones you have and buy four at the same time’.

“It’s difficult. We do what we can. Last season, it was fantastic to finish second and we are fighting hard. I know that we have to do better than what we’re doing, absolutely.

“But one thing is to do better, another is to compare ourselves with what Manchester United was in the past, because it’s impossible.”

Sanchez, who has endured a difficult time at United since his switch from Arsenal last January, suffered the injury in training on Thursday and is set for a prolonged spell on the sidelines.

Mourinho described Sanchez’s torn hamstring as an “aggressive” injury and said: “No scans yet. But the player is experienced, the player knows what the injury is and also, from the top of my experience, just the painful scream and the way the injury happened, I know it’s going to be for a long time.

“It’s not the little muscular injury that in one week or 10 days the player is ready. For me and also for Alexis, the feelings before the scans is that the grade is different than the Victor Lindelof injury, and the Lindelof one was not an easy one. So Alexis has what I used to call an aggressive muscular injury.”

United face Southampton today and their under-fire manager Mark Hughes has backed Mourinho to restore his beloved club to their former glory.

United legend Hughes won eight major trophies including two Premier League titles during a glittering Old Trafford career.

Hughes said: “Jose has been successful in every club he has been at. He’s an astute manager, he always has a plan.

“He’s always considered in everything he says. Sometimes he’ll say things for a reaction and that’s a good thing because he protects his players.

“He’s front of house and very good in that regard. I think he has the total respect of the players at his tutelage.

“Criticism is there if you’re the figurehead of the football club which he undoubtedly is and which I am here. The first port of call when criticism comes to your club is in your direction and you have to accept it.”

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