Jose Mourinho aims early dig at 'serial winners' Liverpool and Tottenham

Why Blackpool and Fleetwood Town can still sign players after the transfer window has closed

It is no secret that Mourinho has been keen to add to his squad and would have liked to add a defender.

On the eve of the new season, which starts with United's clash against Leicester, Mourinho also claimed that finishing second last season, 19 points behind champions Manchester City, was "one of the greatest achievements" of his career.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says he is "not confident" of signing another player before Thursday's transfer deadline at 17:00 BST.

United have endured a hard summer transfer window as they have tried and failed to sign a host of defensive targets, with Tottenham centre-back Toby Alderweireld and Leicester's Harry Maguire among the names on their wish-list.

"We have only seen him when he has appeared in front of the TV cameras this summer and heard what he has told the media, and I suspect he will behave very differently on the training ground with his players".

"I'm not confident", he said. His side face Leicester City in their opening fixture at Old Trafford on Friday and it was put to Mourinho that there was a perception the club had gone backwards over the summer.

"So I will have to focus on the players I have and in relation to this first couple of matches, maybe four matches because after Burnley there is national team and a couple of weeks to recover people and prepare people better, is to focus on players available so I'm not thinking about that list I give you, I focus on what we have".

Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic are among six players ruled out of the game with injury, with captain Antonio Valencia, Marcos Rojo, Sergio Romero and Diogo Dalot also sidelined.

"They returned on Monday", he said. 'When I listen, when I read, it's hard to believe we finished second because you are capable of making people who finish second (sound like we) were relegated.

"Is hard for me to understand, to feel, to believe we finish second".

Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford and Phil Jones all came back early from their own extended breaks but Mourinho sounded downbeat again when he was asked about the new season.

Pre-season has clearly been a frustrating time for Mourinho, while a perceived lack of respect for leading his side to second spot last term has got under his skin.

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