Jose Mourinho has shed light on his future transfer plans at Manchester United, expressing a preference to buy players during the summer window.
The 53-year-old confirmed last month that, despite intense speculation surrounding potential moves to Old Trafford for both Victor Lindelof and Antoine Griezmann, he would not sign anybody during the transfer window.
He has, on the flip-side, overseen the departure of both Morgan Schneiderlin to Everton for £20m and Memphis Depay to Lyon for £16m during the January transfer window, whilst also handing Sam Johnstone the chance to join Aston Villa on loan.
And Mourinho, speaking ahead of Man United’s game with Stoke on Saturday, sounded reluctant to make any emergency signings over the next week or so.
“I always think that the best time is in the summer market,” he said.
“I always consider the January market as an emergency one where you can try to resolve some problems or give a little boost to the team for the rest of the season. It’s not an easy market, I have to admit that.
“For some positions, we are comfortable in numbers. We have lots of matches to play in the cups and we have accumulation of fixtures in April and May.
“Probably with some positions, we are going to have problems as we don’t have so many options but, in injury terms, we are being very successful. Hopefully until the end of the season, we won’t have problems and we’ll survive to have conditions to fight for the competitions we are in.”
Mourinho has been characteristically taciturn on the subject of January transfers this month, but you can tell that – under the surface – the Portuguese is devising something of a shrewd plan.
You sense that the money from deals involving Schneiderlin and Memphis will be used in turn to sign players over the summer – a notion reinforced by claims that ‘verbal’ agreements had been reached for both Lindelof and Griezmann ahead of a move to Old Trafford once this season draws to a close.
Mourinho demonstrated his ruthlessness and efficiency over the summer, and early signs suggest that supporters will be treated to an equally fruitful transfer window later this year.