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Monday 22 July 2019

Jose Mourinho refuses to rule out major signing in January transfer window

Jose Mourinho could be prepared to bring forward Manchester United's transfer plans
Jose Mourinho could be prepared to bring forward Manchester United's transfer plans

Manchester United are prepared to do business in this transfer window rather than wait until the summer should a "fantastic opportunity" arise, according to Jose Mourinho.

Two weeks ago Mourinho thought it was unlikely there would be any arrivals at Old Trafford in January but Alexis Sanchez's apparent availability may have changed all that.

The Arsenal forward, out of contract in the summer, seems increasingly unlikely to remain in north London having been omitted from the Gunners' squad to face Bournemouth on Sunday.

Previous suitors Manchester City are understood to be reluctant to pay a quoted cost in the region of £35million to land Sanchez now and that could pave the way for their rivals United to step in and do a deal.

Mourinho has done nothing to rule out United's interest in Sanchez and admitted that his club's summer plans will be altered should he recruit over the next two weeks.

"Our squad was not (built) to have new players in January," he said.

"We build a squad with this idea, with this philosophy that I share with Mr (Ed) Woodward and the owners. Normally the investment is to be made in the summer. The balance of the squad is made in the summer.

"But sometimes, it (a transfer) can happen. Okay, if on the table is a fantastic opportunity, you fight for that fantastic opportunity. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. But I like my squad and I like my players.

"I think normally next summer we will try again to improve our squad in the different departments and try to make every department stronger. That's the normal situation with us.

"If in the winter market you do something, you have to do something that stops you to do it again in the summer. So you are not going to buy a goalkeeper now and buy another goalkeeper in the summer. So if you decide to improve the goalkeeper group now, you are not going to improve it again in the summer.

"Let's say in the summer we have three targets - a defender, a midfielder and an attacking player - if in the winter you do one of the three, then in the summer you are going to do three minus one."

United have their first game in 10 days on Monday night when managerless Stoke visit Old Trafford.

Mourinho used the period in-between to take his team to a warm-weather training camp in Dubai where his players worked on tempo having been noticeably pedestrian in their build-up in a recent four-game winless sequence.

Speaking about the work in Dubai, full-back Luke Shaw told "We were mainly focused on what we were doing with the ball.

"Not really defensively, it was when we have the ball, which areas we want to go to. It's all about moving the ball quickly and (Mourinho) was getting that drummed into our heads."

PA Media

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