Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has claimed that his team may have to go into the new season with just three new signings instead of four.
Manchester United appear close to clinching a deal with Serie A side Inter Milan over the transfer of Croatian winger Ivan Perisic. Inter have demanded a fee within the region of £50 million for the 28 year old, someone who has been a target for Mourinho since he watched the player four months ago.
United had hoped to have completed the transfer before Perisic flew out to China with the Italian side for the club's pre-season tour. The inclusion of the player in Inter's squad shows that Inter Milan boss Luciano Spalletti still views the winger as an important player in his plans.
"Our Squad is not so big"
In a post-match interview ahead of United’s pre-season derby match against Manchester City, Mourinho spoke about the importance of having a big squad. “The problem is we have four players (Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Ashley Young and Zlatan Ibrahimovic) that cannot play football right now. Not even in training. So it looks like our group is big, but it is not because they can’t even train for their recovery is really long.”
Mourinho uses Marcos Rojo as an example of how crucial it is for him to finish the summer transfer window with four signings. “Look at Marcos, no chance before December as an example, so our squad is not so big. Everybody knows, because I told, very objectively, I would like four players. I asked for four players.”
Challenging Transfer Market means Mourinho must settle for only three
However, Mourinho says that he is ready to go from four to three signings because of the challenge the club are facing on the transfer market.
He said: “I’m ready to go from four to three players, because the market is so difficult, some clubs think the market is different from others." The Portuguese manager commented. "We are not a club that is ready to buy and buy and buy non-stop. We are not a club that is ready to pay want us to pay so I’m ready to go from four to three.”
So who are the transfer targets that are missing out?
The Red Devils have been heavily linked with defensive midfielders Nemanja Matic of Chelsea and Eric Dier of Tottenham Hotspur. Matic worked with Mourinho at Chelsea and it looked like a deal was coming close when the Serbian was given permission not to travel to China with the Blues on pre-season tour.