Jos Mourinho said Jrgen Klopp should be asked about his view he would never buy success after Liverpool spent 75m on Virgil van Dijk
Jos Mourinho said Jrgen Klopp should be asked about the comment he made in 2016 that he would never buy success. The Manchester United manager pointed to Klopps observation after Liverpool agreed this week to pay Southampton 75m for Virgil van Dijk.
Mourinho was clarifying remarks made after Uniteds 2-2 Boxing Day draw with Burnley at Old Trafford. He stated his near 300m spend at United was not enough and pointed to how Manchester City had bought full-backs that were the usual cost of strikers.
Did I say that? he said. You know, I think the one that speaks about it in a specific way has to be Jrgen. If I was one of you I would ask him about his comments about one year ago.
In July 2016, as United neared the then world record singing of Paul Pogba for 89m, Klopp stated: Other clubs can go out and spend more money and collect top players, yes. But if you bring one player in for 100m or whatever, and he gets injured, then it all goes through the chimney. Do I have to do it differently to that? Actually, I want to do it differently. I would even do it differently if I could spend that money. The day that this is football, Im not in a job any more.
Mourinho said: I am not speaking specifically now about that case [Van Dijk] because in Liverpool they do what they want to do and I am nobody to comment on what they do. The reality is that if they think the player is the right player and they really want the player they pay his amount or they dont have the player because that is the way the market is at that time.
So when we compare now the amount of money certain managers and clubs spend and try to compare that I am not saying with 10 years ago but [even] three years ago it is to compare the impossible. You cannot compare the realities.
Virgil van Dijk is the most expensive defender in the history of football was he better than [Paolo] Maldini, [Giuseppe] Bergomi or [Rio] Ferdinand? You cannot say that. It is just the way the market is and you pay or you dont pay. If you pay obviously you pay a crazy amount but if you dont you dont have the player. It is as simple as that, so no criticism at all about what Liverpool did, it is just the way it is.
Mourinho said Romelu Lukaku needs a rest but he cannot offer this to the striker, despite him struggling for form and managing only four goals in his past 19 appearances.
First of all, people dont have to be grateful to Romelu, Mourinho said. I have to be, not you, not the supporters, not the pundits. I have to be, and the other day I mentioned he has played 19 matches in the Premier League.
Now it is 20 matches for 90 minutes I think for a striker, any player, thats absolutely incredible. But if you are a central defender, a holding midfield player, where you can control your energy, positional play, you can resist [exertion a little]. But for a striker to play 20 matches in the Premier League for 90 minutes I have to be grateful.
Lukaku was culpable for goals in the derby defeat by Manchester City and the draw with Burnley. Is he unlucky in our box in recent matches? Mourinho said. He was in the picture but was not a direct influence. He was in the picture in some of the last goals we concede but this is a consequence of a player that really needs a little rest. But the guy is fantastic for me and for the team and gives absolutely everything and Ive no criticism. No, I cant rest him.
Mourinho does not believe Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic can play together at the moment, having replaced the latter at half-time against Burnley on his first league start of the season.
It can happen but to happen they need both to be in their best moment and they are not, he said. One is not because the situation in his team didnt allow him to have any rest.
The boy is tired, is physically a monster but not a machine and hes feeling it.
And Zlatan is a man with an incredible injury [serious knee] imagine a man 36 years old and who has so many miles in high-level football [to suffer this]. So it is not easy, we did that against Burnley, we will do that in some more matches if we need to do but for both to play together we need them to be at their best level.
Mourinho, meanwhile, believes City can buy new players without any limits on their spending which means United cannot compete in the market as his club has to invest in a balanced way.
Since taking over, Mourinhos outlay is around 261m yet he stated after Boxing Days draw with Burnley that this is not enough when City are buying full-backs that cost the usual price of strikers.
Asked if this means United cannot challenge City on the field, he said: Its very difficult. You think the club can put 600m and buy six players for 100m each? The club cannot do that. I cannot expect the club to do that, so I am not criticising. You can see how the market is, especially with the top teams.
Without taking any credit from Manchester City, Pep [Guardiola], his staff and the players, but Pep arrived, he had the goalkeeper of England [Joe Hart] he doesnt like him. He buys the keeper of Barcelona [Claudio Bravo], he doesnt like him, he buys another one [Ederson], now he likes him. Can we buy six, seven players at the same time? Can we invest 600m, 700m? No, no, so, its difficult.
Next season we are going to get two or three more players and also lose two or three. Its not going to happen that there is a dramatic change and a dramatic improvement but with time, step by step, with some balance, we have to do it. What Paris St Germain did this season with Neymar and [Kylian] Mbapp they get two of probably the four best attacking players in word they get two at the same time and then players like [ngel] Di Mara, [Julian] Draxler, [Javier] Pastore, Lucas [Moura], they are second choices. Money makes a difference.
I remember my times from my first Chelsea period where everyone was saying money was making the difference. So I dont think its changed, I dont think it changed, I think money makes a difference. But I ask you, please, dont misinterpret my words, dont say my club doesnt support or doesnt want to spend. In two years, my club paid a lot of money for Paul [Pogba], last summer a lot for [Romelu] Lukaku. Im pretty sure next year [summer] is going to pay a lot of money for one player but we are doing these things with some balance because its the profile of the club. We do it with some balance.
Mourinho added he does not think Uniteds squad will be strengthened in the January window.