LONDON: Jose Mourinho fears Manchester United will be unable to make major signings in January because their rivals no longer need to sell to them.
United have spent almost £400 million ($510 million) on players since Mourinho arrived at the club in 2016, but the manager claims buying top-level players is becoming increasingly difficult.
Mourinho claims the balance of power has shifted in the Premier League – using the example of Tottenham, who spent no money on players during the last transfer window, but also managed to keep their key names, in Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-Min.
There was no attempt by United to sign any of those four players, but Mourinho is adamant Tottenham would have refused to sell even if there had been.
He argued it did not used to be the case, with United prising England midfielder Michael Carrick from Tottenham in 2006, then luring Bulgaria striker Dimitar Berbatov from White Hart Lane in 2008.
“Is Manchester United by its history, by its dimension, bigger than Tottenham? With all respect, Tottenham is an amazing club, but I think everybody would say yes,” Mourinho said.
“Can you buy Tottenham’s best players? No, because they don’t sell. Of course, they are so powerful that they can say no.
“A few years ago, who was Tottenham’s best player? Michael Carrick. And a few years later, who was the best player? Berbatov.
“Can we go there now and bring Harry Kane? Dele Alli, Eriksen, Son? Can we go there and bring those players here? No. So who is more powerful now? Them or us?”