Jose Mourinho seems unlikely to complete his desired haul of four summer transfers at Manchester United, with reports suggesting that he is willing to hold fire for now and try again during the January window.
That is according to ESPN, who claim that the Portuguese, whose squad has already been boosted by the respective additions of Victor Lindelof, Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic, has opted against attempting to sell fringe players to fund a final new arrival and risk upsetting the balance of his squad.
It is said that he is now prepared to wait until the New Year before revising his options, a time when the recently released Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be welcomed back into the fold on a new short-term deal provided there are no complications in his recovery from knee surgery.
Mourinho made no secret of his desire to acquire four new players during the current window and tasked executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward with making his transfer wishlist a reality.
Lindelof was the first to arrive in a £31m ($39.8m) move from reigning Primeira Liga champions Benfica, although was left out of the matchday squad for the opening Premier League fixture of the season.
Mourinho claimed that the versatile Swedish defender, whose selection for the Uefa Super Cup defeat by Real Madrid was made out of necessity rather than choice, needs a "little bit of time" to adapt to the rigours of English football, just as Henrikh Mkhitaryan did following his switch from Borussia Dortmund in July 2016.
By contrast, prolific striker Lukaku and midfield enforcer Matic have both hit the ground running since completing £75m and £40m transfers from Everton and Chelsea respectively. The former followed up his scoring debut in Macedonia by notching a brace in a thumping 4-0 victory over West Ham United, while the latter's highly effective performances in the engine room alongside Paul Pogba has led to widespread bemusement as to why the crisis-stricken defending champions were willing to offload him to a direct rival.
Mourinho reiterated last month that he wanted another attacking option capable of playing out wide in addition to a new midfielder in Matic, with Ivan Perisic widely believed to be his priority target. However, United could crucially not strike a deal before Inter Milan flew out for their pre-season tour of the Far East and the prospects of any agreement have only decreased since with Nerazzurri boss Luciano Spalletti insisting that the £48m-rated Croatian international is determined to stay in Serie A amid suggestions of an imminent contract extension.
Rumours of an ambitious move for Gareth Bale also resurfaced after Zinedine Zidane refused to rule out the possibility of one of his vaunted 'BBC' attacking triumvirate leaving before the transfer deadline, although, according to Mourinho, the fact that the Welshman was included in Real Madrid's starting XI for the Super Cup put a decisive end to any lingering speculation.
Midfielders Sergi Roberto and Leander Dendoncker have similarly been linked with United, who are also believed to be eager to strengthen their full-back options following reports of moves for Danny Rose and Serge Aurier.