Manchester United may have shelled out plenty of cash to try and rebuild their squad over the past two seasons, but it’s not enough for Jose Mourinho.
The United boss was speaking after his side’s disappointing 2-2 draw with Burnley saw them lose further ground to runaway Premier League leaders and crosstown rivals Manchester City.
Jesee Lingard may have salvaged a point with a late goal, but it’s far less than United need as they now find themselves 12 points behind the Citizens, with champions Chelsea breathing down their neck one point back.
“We are in the second year of trying to rebuild a football team that you know is not one of the best teams in the world,” said Mourinho.
“Manchester City buy full-backs for the price of strikers.”
Ahead of his first season in charge, Mourinho signed midfielder Paul Pogba for a then record £89m. He also acquired £30m defender Eric Bailly and midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan for £26.3m.
The following season, United bought striker Romelu Lukaku for £75m, as well as defender Victor Lindelof for £31m and midfielder Nemanja Matic for £40m.
City, meanwhile, spent over £200m ahead of this season, with well over half of that amount going towards three defenders – Benjamin Mendy for £52m, Kyle Walker for an initial £45m, and Danilo for £26.5m.
“[Spending £300m] is not enough,” said Mourinho. “The price for the big clubs is different than for the other clubs. The big historical clubs are normally punished in the market because of that history.
“The boys are doing what they can and they are doing fine.”
United have collected just eight points from the past five games, and when asked if that was good enough for a club of its stature, Mourinho pointed to the struggles of other big teams like Spanish giants Real Madrid – who are 14 points Barcelona in La Liga in fourth place – and Italian powerhouse AC Milan, who are mired in mid-table in Serie A.
“When you tell a club like Man Utd, do you think Milan is not as big as us? You think Real Madrid are not as big as we are?” said Mourinho.
“I know what a big club is. One thing is a big club and another thing is a big football team. They are two different things.
“When you speak about responsibilities to win the Premier League, Tottenham doesn’t have that responsibility because they are not a club with the same history as us.
“Arsenal don’t have the responsibility to win it. Chelsea don’t have the responsibility to win it. When you speak about big football clubs, you are speaking about the history of the club.”