Jose Mourinho has told executive vice chairman Ed Woodward he needs more money to compete with Manchester City and insists Manchester United do not have a team to match their “big club” reputation.
United dropped more points in the Premier League title race with a 2-2 draw with Burnley at Old Trafford on Boxing Day, and afterwards Mourinho claimed he has not had enough funds to go toe-to-toe with Pep Guardiola’s side who “buy the full-backs for the price of strikers.”
He told a news conference after the 2-2 draw with Burnley:
“I know what is a big club.
“One thing is a big club and another thing is a big football team. They are different things.
“When you say a club like Manchester United, do you think Milan is not as big as us? You think they are not as big as we are? Do you think Real Madrid are not as big as we are? You think Inter Milan is not as big as we are? There are many big clubs.
“So when you speak about responsibilities to win the Premier League, Tottenham does not have that responsibility?
“Tottenham is not a club with the same history as us, Arsenal doesn’t have the responsibility to win it, Chelsea doesn’t have the responsibility to win it?
“We are in the second year of trying to rebuild a football team you know is not one of the best teams in the world.
“Manchester City buy the full-backs for the price of the strikers, so when you speak about big football clubs, you are speaking about the history of the club.”
It was put to Mourinho that while Guardiola has spent £361.1 million — including £120.8m on three full-backs last summer — since arriving at the Etihad Stadium, he has also spent £286.3m on seven players since taking over at Old Trafford.
He added: “It is not enough, is not enough. And the price for the big clubs, the price for the big clubs is different from the other clubs, so the big, historical clubs are normally punished in the market for that history.
“So the boys are doing what they can and they are doing fine.”
United have now taken eight points from the last 15 available handing City the chance to increase their lead at the top to 15 points when they face Newcastle on Wednesday.
Mourinho said his team have been guilty of conceding too many “S” goals as well as failing to take their chances.
He added: “I say the last two matches we had 15 chances to score and we concede three ‘S’ goals and an amazing free kick, so the boys do what they can, they are trying hard with the problems and injuries we have.
“I am not happy with the result, and against Leicester, but I am happy with my players.”
After conceding a stoppage-time equaliser against Leicester, United were 2-0 down against Burnley at half-time after an early goal from Ashley Barnes and a wonderful Steven Defour free kick.
Substitute Jesse Lingard scored twice in the second-half to earn a point but it did little to help their title challenge.
Mourinho said: “The problem with the first-half performance is another, you are intelligent, you don’t need me to tell the whole world, another ‘S’ goal.
“That obviously has an impact on the game, 2-0 makes things more difficult and at half-time I need my players to believe in me and accept the risk, not to be afraid to lose three or four, not to be afraid of a possible negative reaction from the supporters.
“I’m very happy with their character, apart from that, also the way they played, they tried to break a very organised wall.
“I keep saying that to defend well is a quality and they defended very well, so also credit for them to concede only two goals.
“I’m happy with the effort, the personality, the feeling of we didn’t lose but of course we lost two points.”