Jose Mourinho has ruled out the possibility of Manchester United competing with rivals Manchester City in this summer’s transfer market, insisting that the club will not spend more money than it can afford.
ourinho has complained of United’s inability to match City in the market on several occasions this season, most recently in last month’s 12-minute monologue on the concept of 'football heritage'.
The United manager claimed at the time that while City could 'go for the jugular', United were forced to follow 'a different process' and suggested that his side would only be able to compete with City if the champions-to-be suddenly stopped spending.
United postponed City’s title celebrations and cut their lead at the top of the Premier League table down to 13 points with victory in last weekend’s Manchester derby, but Mourinho does not expect his club to be as competitive off the pitch in the summer.
When asked whether United will attempt to match City’s spending, he said: "No. We are not going to spend more than we can. We are not going to do anything crazy.
"We are just trying to improve a little bit more, to keep the sequence of it," the United manager added. "That’s what we are going to try."
United entertain bottom club West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford today as they look to finish the season with a flourish and finish as close to the leaders as possible.
Mourinho’s side have been City’s nearest challengers for the majority of the campaign but have been criticised in some quarters for their reactive style of play, particularly after their Champions League elimination at the hands of Sevilla.
The Portuguese bit back at his critics on Friday, claiming his side deserve more credit for being the best of the rest this year.
"When we don’t play well, people have a go at us, which I understand," he said.
"I never complained for example after the second match against Sevilla, I didn’t complain with any criticism but when we do good things there is always a 'but'. It is really, really hard for people to praise the team and to praise the boys, I think it is very, very clear.
"That is why I keep saying we have to try everything like we are doing to finish second because if we finish second, it is like impossible to deny what is real, which is the reality of the points.
"So with 'buts' and 'buts' and 'buts', if we manage to finish second, it is difficult to say that the sixth was better than us, or the fifth was better than us. The only way we have to do it is to try to finish second, which is what we are trying to do but we know it is still difficult. Liverpool are not far from us and let’s see what happens."
When asked what would constitute 'respect' for him and United, Mourinho launched a defence of his team’s record this year.
"Respect? It is honesty. It is when we play bad to tell the truth and when we do something positive, tell the truth," he said.
"No 'buts', and the team that beats every team in the Premier League, a team that beat every one of the top six opponents, a team that in the last three matches, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City, won all of them.
"A team that has already more points than in the last season, a team that had brilliant matches and at least very important minutes of football in many matches, a team that showed character many times, the last one you can think, the last one was being 2-0 down and changing for 3-2 [against City last week]."
Mourinho added: "I prefer to go a little bit further and say that after the Sevilla match, only a good group with good people could do what they did, which is win every match after that.
"The easy thing would be out against Sevilla and collapse in the Premier League, collapse in the sense that motivation goes down, let the quality go down and I think that is the proof of what the group is, the group of good guys."
Independent News Service