Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho reportedly thinks he needs at least two transfer windows to return them to the top.
According to the Daily Record, the manager has been left “concerned” by the current standard of his players of which only seven remain from United’s last title-winning side delivered by Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013.
The Portuguese coach, who was sacked at Chelsea in December 2015, finds the squad he has inherited from Louis van Gaal “unfit for purpose”, with Ferguson’s successor David Moyes also blamed for the squad Mourinho inherited.
Mourinho has been dismayed how the players Van Gaal and Moyes signed cannot “deliver a consistency of performance” while their mindset is such that they also “accept poor results”, according to the report.
Despite spending over £150million on four players this summer – including the world-record deal for Paul Pogba – it is claimed that Mourinho prefers to “adopt a surgical approach to the transfer market”, and that the “deficiencies” in the squad cannot be overcome with just two windows worth of investment.
“We need quality players, but you can not do it in one to two transfer windows,” a source told the Daily Record. “You cannot buy four or five players in one go of the level that we need.”
Mourinho added Eric Bailly, Henrik Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to his squad in the summer, alongside Pogba, but none of his summer recruits have set the world alight, although central defender Bailly is currently injured.
Mkhitaryan cannot get a start, Ibrahimovic has faded after a bright beginning and Pogba has not managed yet to deliver the surging performances his price tag demands.
Mourinho is understood to be keen to add an experienced centre-back and a right-back to his squad, while he may also be in the market for a striker, as well as offloading a number of fringe stars.
They reported that “a minimum of eight players” will be given the chop over the next two transfer windows as Mourinho attempts to build a squad capable of challenging for the Premier League title.
The report claimed defenders Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian and Phil Jones would all be allowed to move on, while midfield trio Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin and Michael Carrick would also leave Old Trafford.
Carrick is out of contract next summer and that will be allowed to expire, although reports now suggest Carrick will get a new deal.