Sir Alex Ferguson helped Manchester United sign Robin van Persie from Arsenal in his final summer transfer window and Jose Mourinho claims it is difficult now for the Red Devils in signing players from the rival clubs.

The Portuguese tactician replaced Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford after the Dutchman was asked to step down from his post following a poor run under his guidance. In Mourinho's first summer, he helped United sign Paul Pogba for a world-record fee, while adding Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly to the squad.

Arsenal star Mesut Ozil played under the current United manager at Real Madrid. The German international has over one year left on his contract and has been linked with a move to Old Trafford, along with Tottenham Hotspur star Toby Alderweireld and Chelsea's Willian.

Mourinho admitted that it is tougher for his side to secure services of players from the top clubs in England.

"Here, everyone is powerful now. The scenery has changed. If I want to buy a player from Tottenham, I can't. Nor can I buy a player from Manchester City or Arsenal," Mourinho told France Football, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.

"That was not the case before. At Chelsea, I brought in Shaun Wright-Phillips, who was the best player at Manchester City or Ashley Cole from Arsenal. Sir Alex, when he wanted the best player from Tottenham, he bought Michael Carrick and then Berbatov."

When Mourinho was at Chelsea, he signed Shaun Wright-Phillips from Manchester City in 2005 and Ashley Cole from Arsenal a year later. The former England international admitted that the Gunners showed me "lack of respect" when he left the north London club for the cross town rivals.

United manager's latest comments suggests the 20-time English champions will play an uphill task in bringing either of Ozil, Alderweireld or Willian to Old Trafford.

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho replaced Louis van Gaal as Manchester United manager last summer Getty