Manchester United have informed manager Jose Mourinho that he must ship out some of the fringe players at Old Trafford before he can bring in new recruits in the January transfer window.

Mourinho reportedly urged the United hierarchy to provide him with further backing in the winter transfer market as he bids to keep pace with high-flying Manchester City and shape the Red Devils in his own image, but the powers that be at Old Trafford are looking to control their expenditure rather than splurge as they have had a tendency to do in recent seasons, according to BBC Sport.

The Portuguese oversaw a £170m spending spree in the summer as the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic arrived from Everton and Chelsea respectively and has spent almost £300m since being appointed United boss in the summer of 2016.

The lavish spending has inevitably caught up with United, whose wage bill has risen by 13.5% during the 2017 financial year. The Red Devils hierarchy are now spending £263.5m on salaries and are reluctant to see that figure increase, though they did report record revenues of £581m over the past 12 months, with broadcast income and commercial deals increasing significantly.

United's stance over their finances means Mourinho will have to reduce the wage bill and offload fringe players if he wishes to bring in new recruits. Luke Shaw seems the most likely to leave Manchester, while Matteo Darmian and Marouane Fellaini could also seek pastures new in the coming months.

Shaw has endured a wildly disappointing stint at United since joining from Southampton in the summer of 2014 and was publicly criticised by Mourinho last year. The seven-time England international has made just two substitute appearances for United's first-team this season - both coming in the Carabao Cup.

Darmian has been afforded more game-time than Shaw this season but is very much a peripheral figure at Old Tafford, having started just two league matches. The Italy international, who recently courted interest from clubs in his homeland, was an unused substitute as United lost to Chelsea last weekend and admitted earlier in the summer that his future is unclear.

Fellaini is perhaps the least likely out of three to leave given the esteem in which Mourinho holds him in, but the gangly Belgium international's contract expires at the end of the season and is of interest to Turkish giants Besiktas, who thought they were close to signing him in the summer. The former Everton midfielder's switch to the Vodafone Arena was blocked by Mourinho, who has a tendency to use the former Standard Liege starlet as an impact substitute.

Jose Mourinho
Mourinho's demands for transfer funds were not met. Getty Images