Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has slammed the club's tactics in the summer transfer window that have forced him to scale back his expectations with regard to new signings before the 2017/18 season. Mourinho had targeted four new additions ahead of the upcoming campaign and having brought Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku to the club the Europa League winners appeared on course to match their manager's demands.
However, amid reports the Old Trafford club have failed in attempts to sign Ivan Perisic and Eric Dier, Mourinho has conceded he may be forced to settle for just one additional signing between now and start of the new season. Furthermore, the Portuguese coach is far from happy the business conducted in the summer in a stark message to executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward – who has led the club's transfer negotiations.
"We always want more," the United boss told ESPN. "We always feel there is room to improve, and I cannot say that I am happy with our transfer window. What I can also say is that it is a difficult transfer window, and I don't blame anyone – it is just a reality of things.
Hinting at the reason behind the collapse of the deals to sign Perisic and Dier, with their respective clubs Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspur seemingly refusing to do business, the 54-year-old added: "The market is going in such a direction that many players are difficult to get, not to say impossible. Every club is powerful, and they don't want to sell or their demands are really high, so the market is difficult."
Though United have struggled to add to their resources, clubs such as Everton – who have signed 10 players this summer – and AC Milan – whose new Chinese owner Li Yonghong has invested in excess of £150m on the squad – are among those to have made giant strides during the off-season.
Mourinho is realistic over the players available in the current market, where selling clubs hide behind inflated fees, and admits he will still be happy if United finish the summer with only one more signing.
"Everton started really strong in the market without the Lukaku money," Mourinho added. "AC Milan, without selling players, are buying nonstop, so it depends on the moment, the objective, maybe on new owners.
"What I will say is that, a long time ago, we thought about four players to strengthen our squad, but it is really hard to do it. If we do the third and forget the fourth, I would be quite happy with that because I know it is difficult."