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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

Jose Mourinho claims Manchester United have not spent enough money

Portuguese has spent around £286 million (Dh1.4 billion) on players since he took charge at Old Trafford in 2016 but team languishes 12 points behind Premier League leaders City

Jose Mourinho stops the ball during Manchester United's 2-2 draw against Burnley at Old Trafford. Andrew Yates / Reuters
Jose Mourinho stops the ball during Manchester United's 2-2 draw against Burnley at Old Trafford. Andrew Yates / Reuters

Jose Mourinho claimed Manchester United have not spent enough money after seeing them drop another two points in their faltering title challenge.

The Portuguese has spent around £286 million (Dh1.4 billion) on players since he took charge at Old Trafford in 2016 but their hopes of reclaiming the Premier League crown this season appear to be fading fast.

United needed a last-gasp Jesse Lingard equaliser - his second goal of the game - to salvage a 2-2 draw against battling Burnley at Old Trafford on Boxing Day.

They now face the prospect of falling 15 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City if their rivals win their game in hand against Newcastle United.

Mourinho was asked after the game if such a situation was unacceptable to a club of United's size and stature, but he insisted that was not the main issue.

After pointing out that the likes of AC Milan, Inter Milan and Real Madrid - historically three of Europe's biggest clubs - are not currently dominating their domestic leagues, Mourinho claimed spending was crucial.

Mourinho said: "A big club is one thing and another thing is a big football team. They are two different things.

"We are in the second year of trying to rebuild a football team that is not one of the best teams in the world. Manchester City buy full-backs for the price of strikers. When you speak about big football clubs, you are speaking about the history of the club."

When it was pointed out United have spent heavily in recent years, Mourinho said: "OK, [but] it is not enough."

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Mourinho was further asked if he intended to spend big in the January transfer window but left the room before answering.

Prior to that he bemoaned his side's defending. United conceded within three minutes to Ashley Barnes after failing to clear a free kick into the box.

After being unhappy with the goals conceded in Saturday's 2-2 draw with Leicester City, he said such defending should be described with a word beginning with S. He left the actual word to the imagination of those present.

He said: "Another 's' goal. I don't need to say the other letters of the word. That is what we are having now, lots of 's' goals against so that has an impact in the game."

But after admitting Steven Defour's second Burnley goal was an "amazing free kick", Mourinho hailed the character of his players for recovering.

He said: "The boys do what they can. They are trying hard with the problems we have with the injuries we have.

"I am not happy with the result, I was not happy with the result against Leicester, but I am happy with my players. No critics to my players."