MX23RW : Wednesday, January 16 04:35:33

Jose Mourinho: 'Manchester United can no longer raid rivals for best players'

Jose Mourinho believes that the days of Manchester United raiding their Premier League title rivals for their best players are over.

Jose Mourinho has claimed that the days of Manchester United raiding their rivals for their best players are over.

The Red Devils were previously seen as the standout club in English football and it was not uncommon for fellow title challengers to lose their best players to the lure of Old Trafford.

In the past, United have signed Robin van Persie from Arsenal, Dimitar Berbatov from Tottenham Hotspur, Andy Cole from Newcastle United and Eric Cantona from Leeds United.

However, they have not bought a player from a top-four rival since signing Juan Mata in January 2014 when he was no longer in Mourinho's plans at Chelsea.

"Football has changed in the three years since Sir Alex Ferguson retired. This is the new football," Mourinho told Sky Sports News.

"Do you think I can go to Tottenham and buy two players to kill Tottenham? I can't. I cannot go to Arsenal and buy their two best players, or go to Chelsea and bring two of the players that I love very, very much. That time is over.

"The situation where you could start to become the champions by attacking your opponents is over in this country. If you get a player from a top club, you only get a player those clubs don't want to keep.

"You cannot attack your rivals any more. It used to be that when one of the big clubs was getting stronger, another of the big clubs was getting weaker. The problem we are finding is that we are getting stronger but so are the others. That means we have to grow up again and it is going to take more time."

United sit sixth in the Premier League table, four points outside the top four, ahead of their trip to English champions and relegation battlers Leicester City.


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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho watches on during the Premier League clash with Liverpool at Old Trafford on January 15, 2017
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool22183150104057
2Manchester CityMan City22172359174253
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs22160646222448
4Chelsea22145340172347
5Arsenal22125546321441
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd22125544321241
7Watford229583232032
8Leicester CityLeicester229492625131
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham229493032-231
10Everton228683331230
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves228592328-529
12Bournemouth2283113142-1127
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2275102430-626
14Crystal Palace2264122028-822
15Burnley2263132343-2021
16Southampton2247112339-1619
17Cardiff CityCardiff2254131941-2219
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2246121631-1518
19Fulham2235142049-2914
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2225151337-2411

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