Speaking at a news conference to preview Friday's Premier League opener against Leicester, Mourinho told reporters he does not expect any deadline-day activity at Old Trafford, despite also being linked to centre-backs Toby Alderweireld, Yerry Mina and Jerome Boateng.
Mourinho has his detractors, plenty of them present in the United support, but while they would have voiced their reservations over signings like Toby Alderweireld or Willian because of their age, they would have also accepted the players were a big upgrade on what they now had.
And while those players are all now back in training, with Lukaku, Rashford and Jones having returned earlier than scheduled, Mourinho has admitted he will still be without a number of key players against Leicester.
"He didn't have a pre-season, three days of pre-season", Mourinho said. In the previous three seasons, Leicester have managed to just grab one point from their visits to the Old Trafford out of a possible 9.
"That's one of the worries when you're signing players".
"He worked amazingly well Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday".
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"Unavailable is [Sergio] Romero - he had a surgery after his injury before the World Cup". He's in the group of players who didn't have a pre season, it's as simple as that. The World Cup-winning midfielder reportedly informed the club's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward via text that he intends to leave the club following a rejected approach from Barcelona. Ander Herrera - injured against Bayern. I think that's it.
"After Spurs there is an global break". "We have a very good squad, with very good players and it is very hard to add players to that", he said.
"I focus on just what we have, and we go with everything we have to the first match".
In reality an intermediary had contacted United a few days earlier asking whether they would be interested in the experienced 32-year-old. The Reds have failed to finish above City in any season since Sir Alex Ferguson's last in charge, through the David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal and, now, Jose Mourinho eras.
In stark contrast, and as he feared, United boss Mourinho was unable to land the central defender he craves and could come face to face with his prime target Harry Maguire when the Reds host Leicester in tonight's Premier League curtain-raiser.