MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said he was closing the book on a frustrating transfer window but could not resist one last jibe after his team’s opening Premier League 2-1 win over Leicester City on Friday.
Mourinho has made no secret of his disappointment that he was not able to significantly strengthen his team during the close-season.
On Friday, British media reports suggested that the club’s chief executive Ed Woodward had rejected some of Mourinho’s targets and that the pair had divergent views over United’s recruitment policy.
“It will be a difficult season for everybody, not just for us. I had my plans for many months and I find myself with the market closed in a situation I did not think I would be in,” said the former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager.
“That’s football management. I think football is changing and managers should be called head coaches. I think we are more head coaches than managers,” he said.
A number of clubs, such as Arsenal, have begun to use the title ‘head coach’ rather than the traditional ‘manager’ to reflect the changed structures with increased roles for Directors of Football, heads of recruitment and chief executives.
While Mourinho was happy with his team’s effort against Leicester, he refused to be drawn on whether his team would be genuine title contenders this year after finishing in second place, 19 points behind champions Manchester City, last season.
“We have to wait until the end of November to understand if we can fight for the title,” he said.
Mourinho’s transfer frustration was evident again when he discussed the Leicester performance.
“We played against a team that invest more than us. They spent more money than us, so in the Premier League we must get used to teams with players of the same quality that we have,” he said.
“Forget the name, the history, the shirt, every match is difficult. I think it’s the last time we speak about it, it’s over, finished, the market is closed and no more talk about it.”
Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Pritha Sarkar