Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says he will only bring in reinforcements in January if players leave the club during the transfer window first.
United have been linked with moves for a number of players next month, including Benfica’s Victor Lindelof, Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez and Southampton’s Jose Fonte.
However, Mourinho has suggested the club will likely have to sell first if they are to spend any money, with United having held talks with Everton over the departures of Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin earlier this month.
Asked whether United would look to do business in the January window, Mourinho told a news conference: “No, I’m quiet and calm. I can see what happens.
“As I was saying, I would like to keep my squad the same but as I told [you] and I repeat: As a manager I never feel I have the right to stop people trying to be happier, to try to give a different direction to their careers.
“So if the conditions are right for the club and that moment arrives during the month of January then we will have to react, so let’s see what happens.
“But if you ask me in this moment whether I’m waiting for somebody to be here on Jan. 1 or are we chasing some player because on Jan. 1 we want to have here a new player, not at all.
“I like my squad, I trust my squad.”
Everton manager Ronald Koeman is keen to bring in Depay and Schneiderlin, who have had limited playing time at United this season, and Mourinho said earlier this week he is willing to listen to offers for the duo.
United, meanwhile, face West Brom on Saturday, Sunderland on Boxing Day and Middlesbrough on New Year’s Eve and, with the club currently six points behind fourth-placed Manchester City in the Premier League, Mourinho hopes to enter 2017 in a stronger position.
“We didn’t arrive at half of the race,” he said. “That’s [the halfway point] only on Dec. 31, so I’d say the first half of the race would be almost impossible to be in the top four, but one thing is to be 15 points from the top, another thing is to be five points from the top four.
“So what we have to try to do in these three remaining matches is to try to be in a position that gives us a chance in the second half of the season.
“We are playing really well. If we can transform performances into results then we have a chance.”
Since their 1-1 draw with Everton on Dec. 4, United have won back-to-back games in the league against Tottenham and Crystal Palace, and Mourinho said it has had a positive impact on the players’ mood.
“It doesn’t change the mentality,” he said. “It changes just a little bit the happiness, the good feeling.
“It was great to see the boys tired but happy after the game at Palace. I was always very positive to them — I was always very positive in the dressing room after disappointing results. It’s not easy to go to the dressing room after the Arsenal match [a 1-1 draw in November] and grab them and lift them. It’s not easy because such a good performance, such a disappointing result.
“It’s not easy to go to the dressing room against Everton and grab them and motivate them for the next day. It’s easy after Crystal Palace to go to the dressing room and to see happy people.
“So results in our case just bring happiness, because the way we are playing for a long time, the way we are working for a long time, gives us that stability that we know we are going in the right direction, but obviously we need results, and these last two victories meant six points and six points for a team that had consecutive draws, draws, draws was very important.”