After his team came back from two goals down to draw at home to Burnley, Jose Mourinho has claimed that Manchester United will need to spend more money if they wish to compete with a Manchester City that “buy full-backs for the price of strikers”.
United, Premier League’s most successful outfit, have seen their Premier League title bid end early since a 2:1 loss to rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford. The Red Devils, who have failed to win in three consecutive games in all competitions as they suffered a 2:2 draw against Burnley, could fall 15 points behind Manchester City if Pep Guardiola’s side manage to beat Newcastle on Wednesday–a result which is very likely.
It could have been worse for United, as were it not for a Jesse Lingard brace(including a stoppage time equaliser), Burnley would have left Old Trafford with a first win since 1962.
Responding to a question that such a gap might be unacceptable for a club of United’s stature, Mourinho said in his press conference: “One thing is a big club 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 to the Portuguese that United have spent heavily – roughly £286m – since Mourinho took charge in 2016, the Portuguese replied: “OK, (but) it is not enough. The price for the big clubs is different than for the other clubs.
Mourinho had earlier said that Burnley had only ‘one-and-a-half’ shots on goal in their 2-2 draw
“The big historical clubs, they are normally punished in the market because of their history.”
Mourinho was then 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, 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 on the game.”