Manchester United’s Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho shouts instructions to his players from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on August 13, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFF
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has backed calls for the Premier League to close its transfer window before the season starts, rather than at the end of August.
Several English top-flight clubs have called for the move in order to minimise disruption once the season gets under way and they are due to vote on the proposal at the start of next month.
It would put the Premier League at odds with the rest of Europe, but Mourinho played down the threat of European clubs poaching players without the selling clubs having time to sign replacements.
“My opinion is we have to adapt to the situation, it doesn’t matter what,” Mourinho told his weekly press conference at United’s Carrington training base on Friday.
“But as a football manager and not a market man — just a football man, just as somebody who wants to work with the team, work with the players — I would prefer the window to close as soon as possible.
“So everybody knows the players we have and the deals will be done earlier and nobody would be waiting for the last week.
“And we wouldn’t have the situation of sometimes a player plays game number one for a team and game number two for another team.
“And the question marks somebody puts, if other leagues don’t close at the same time, are we in danger of losing players in the last couple of weeks?
“My question is, how many clubs in the world are powerful enough to buy the best players in the Premier League? The answer I think is very obvious.
“So the risk is minimal and even those powerful clubs have to know if we can’t buy players after, let’s say the 14th or 15th of August, we’re not going to sell.
“So if they are interested in players from the Premier League, they also have to do it before the limit.
“So again, I repeat, I’m not a market man, but as a football manager I would like it to close before the first match.”
‘I’m happy with squad’
Mourinho has had a successful transfer window so far, bringing in Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku to bolster his defence, midfield and forward line.
Matic and Lukaku both impressed on their debut last weekend, the latter scoring twice in a 4-0 home win over West Ham United.
Mourinho is also in the market for a wide player and United have been strongly linked with a move for Inter Milan’s Croatian winger Ivan Perisic.
But with United not prepared to meet Inter’s £48 million ($61.6 million, 52.7 million euros) asking price, Mourinho believes they will not buy any more players this month.
“I don’t think we are (in the market), unless something happens to put us in the market again,” said Mourinho, whose side visit Swansea City on Saturday.
“I told (executive vice chairman) Mr Woodward my plans were four (new players), but I also told him be cool, no pressure from me, do what you think is best for the club.
“We will be together again for another transfer window in January and next summer, so no pressure from me at all. I’m happy with the squad we have. I’m ready to go without the fourth player.
“If we are out of the market, I’m fine, I’m ready.”
Mourinho revealed injured pair Ashley Young and Luke Shaw will play in an under-23 game against Swansea on Monday, paving the way for them to return to first-team action after the forthcoming international break.