Jose Mourinho 'given green light by Manchester United to spend big in January'

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho watches on from the stands ahead of his side's Premier League clash with Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on November 6, 2016
© SilverHub
Manchester United will reportedly give Jose Mourinho a significant transfer budget for the January transfer window as the Portuguese coach eyes a defender.

Manchester United will reportedly provide manager Jose Mourinho with a hefty transfer kitty to spend in January.

The Red Devils parted with around £150m during the summer window, recruiting Eric Bailly, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and £89m signing Paul Pogba.

At the time, Mourinho told the media that United had sealed all of their targets, but it is believed that the 53-year-old is now eyeing a top-level defender.

Bailly has been a welcome option at the back having helped keep four of United's seven clean sheets this season, but a knee ligament injury suffered in October halted his progress.

According to the Daily Record, Mourinho advised the board to sign a second central defender as well as a full-back in the summer, but neither materialised and now executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is prepared to release funds for some big-money spending next month.

Injuries to Chris Smalling and Bailly have been felt by United as the club have conceded in their last three Premier League games.

Bailly's absence in particular has been a blow, and the Red Devils are expected to be without the Ivory Coast international in January as he is due to compete in the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.

If his nation reach the knockout rounds of the tournament, the defender will be away until February.

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has a shot during his side's Premier League clash with Stoke City at Old Trafford on October 2, 2016
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1Manchester CityMan City54101621413
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd54101621413
3Chelsea531185310
4Newcastle UnitedNewcastle53026429
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs52217348
6Huddersfield TownHuddersfield52215328
7Burnley52216518
8Liverpool52219908
9Southampton52214408
10West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom52214408
11Watford522179-28
12Arsenal521278-17
13Stoke CityStoke512256-15
14Swansea CitySwansea512225-35
15Leicester CityLeicester511379-24
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton511347-34
17West Ham UnitedWest Ham5113410-64
18Everton5113210-84
19Bournemouth510439-63
20Crystal Palace500508-80
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