Jose Mourinho claims that Manchester United would have had to pay £150m for Romelu Lukaku if they had waited until August 31.
Lukaku arrived earlier in the summer for £75m before the world transfer record was smashed by Neymar moving to Paris for almost £200m.
They also signed Nemanja Matic for £40m and Mourinho claims they got the Serb cheaper because the market had not yet been inflated.
“I think we were very clever,” Mourinho told The Times. “We thought that something could happen that could change the market forever.
“Normally the last part of the market is less expensive, but this season, after Neymar, everything changed and changed for the worse in terms of prices.
“I think Lukaku on August 31 would have been £150m. Matic would have been £60m or £70m. Neymar changed everything. If the biggest transfer in history had still been Pogba, I think Philippe Coutinho would now be in Barcelona at £101 million.
“Lukaku and Matic, now, would have cost us £200m in total,” Mourinho added. “But because we did it in the first part of the summer, it was much less.
“I think we did well in financial terms and well in preparation terms, getting them before the season started. That is not crucial but it is important.”