Jose Mourinho says it will be clear by Christmas whether Manchester United have enough to compete in the Premier League title race.
The United boss had been braced for the deadline-day disappointment and warned ahead of Friday’s Premier League opener against Leicester that the lack of improvement could return to haunt them this winter.
Asked if he had the tools to compete without new signings, Mourinho said: “I have my players, I like my players, I like to work with my players.
“One lie repeated 1,000 times is still a lie, but the perception of the people is that it’s true but it’s still a lie.
“So, when you repeat 1,000 times that my relationship with my players is not good, it’s a lie that repeated 1,000 times is still a lie.
“But again, the perception of the people that reads can be different, but I like my players and my group.
“I enjoy the last season, the fight to finish where we finished and to manage the best position in five or six years.
“I’m going to enjoy this season. Again, I know the words you want me to say or not to say.
“It depends on the music, but words for me don’t come easy.
“I think by the end of November or December, you don’t need words – you will see by then which teams are candidates to win the Premier League.
“In this moment, words are not important.
“Let’s play football and by the end of November or December, you don’t need words. You will see which teams are candidates.”
After United refused to make any late recruits, the reasons for Mourinho’s requests remaining unfulfilled became clear…