Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has remarkably claimed that the near-£300m spent on new players since his arrival at Old Trafford in 2016 is simply "not enough" to get his side competing for the Premier League title again.
United drew 2-2 with Burnley on Boxing Day - coming back from 2-0 down to the Clarets thanks to a Jesse Lingard double - and know that they could now fall 15 points behind league leaders City should they beat Newcastle on Wednesday night.
Legitimate question for Man Utd board to ask Mourinho when it comes to him demanding yet more spending is - ok, but any chance you could actually get us playing like Man City?— Jason Burt (@JBurtTelegraph) December 26, 2017
Mourinho has seen United sign Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku in consecutive summers for £89m and £75m respectively, but believes that when a rival is spending so much money on full backs (taking the examples of Benjamin Mendy, who has been injured for most of the season, and Kyle Walker) it's difficult to get close.
According to Sky Sports, he said: "One thing is a big club and another thing is a big football team. They are two different things.
Mou: "Manchester City are buying full-backs for the price of strikers! The price for big clubs are different to the price for other clubs. The boys are doing what they can, they are doing fine. 8 pts from 15? Last 2 matches we had 15 chances and conceded 3 s*** goals." #MUFC— Kris Voakes (@krisvoakes) December 26, 2017
"We are in the second year of trying to rebuild a football team that is not one of the best teams in the world. Manchester City buy full-backs for the price of strikers. When you speak about big football clubs, you are speaking about the history of the club."
It was then pointed out to Mourinho in his press conference that United have spent £286m since his arrival, but he simply replied: "OK, (but) it is not enough. The price for the big clubs is different than for the other clubs. The big historical clubs, they are normally punished in the market because of their history."
Recent displays have made it somewhat obvious that United have a serious mound of deadwood in their squad and that Mourinho has more work to do, but fans are now beginning to question whether more spending under the former Chelsea coach will actually make a difference.