Jose Mourinho has suggested that Manchester United will have a quiet summer transfer window despite admitting that his current squad still need some changes. Meanwhile, the boss reiterated his intention to keep Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Old Trafford as the 35-year-old striker has already scored 20 goals for the club since his summer arrival from Paris Saint Germain.
Mourinho broke the bank during his first summer at the Premier League giants to improve all the key positions in his squad with the additions of Ibrahimovic himself, Paul Pogba, Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Yet, the former Chelsea boss opted against making any new signing during the recent January transfer window despite the club-sanctioned departures of both Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay and to Everton and Lyon respectively.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said on Thursday (9 February) that United will not make a huge overhaul in the summer either, telling the fans not to expect the "churn" of recent seasons in which a number of players leave Old Trafford to make space for the new additions.
Mourinho has now backed those claims, saying that United have already built the base for the future.
"First of all, yesterday I had to ask a friend about 'churn' because I had no idea. It is a new word for my vocabulary, you have to learn every time you can and I thank Ed for that word because I didn't have an idea," Mourinho joked in the press conference ahead of the visit of Watford.
"He's completely right. Of course, we speak about it, of course, we speak about what's next. We know that we have a squad that, like every squad, needs changes. But we also know that our squad has potential, our squad has good players and many of them are at the best age, in the age of evolution.
Yet, Mourinho suggested that he will still need to bring between two and four players to improve his current squad, as United will be expected to compete for the Premier League title next season.
"You know we prefer to bring in two, three or four players but good players – players that fulfil an idea of the football that we try to play, players that can improve our squad. We are not interested in selling six or seven and buying six or seven. From this six or seven only one or two are great quality, all the others are the same as the ones we are selling, so we are not going to play this game," Mourinho said.
"We are stable so our market in the summer will be soft, it will be natural. Some players will leave, some players will come, but in a very natural way. I think the word that Ed used is a good one."
Mourinho, meanwhile, confirmed that he also expects Ibrahimovic to stay to help United in his arguably last season at "the highest level".
The veteran striker signed a one-year deal following his free-agent move from PSG in the summer, but he has an option to extend his contract for a further 12 months and Mourinho is convinced that it will be the case.
"I'm totally convinced he is going to stay. He came with the intention to stay two years, but in the minds of everyone the first year is going better than every expectation," Mourinho said.
"He knows we are going to try again to improve next season and try to share with him, in a fantastic way, probably the last year of his career at the highest level. So I'm convinced that he's staying, he's adapted to the club, to the situation,
"I don't see any problem with his family. I gave him the possibility of a few days off to go to Sweden, but he doesn't want to, he prefers to stay here, so I'm totally convinced he is going to stay."