Jose Mourinho. Picture: REUTERS
Jose Mourinho. Picture: REUTERS

Los Angeles — Jose Mourinho has hit out at Manchester United’s transfer window inactivity after watching his under-strength squad crash to a 4-1 defeat against Liverpool in the latest stop of their pre-season US tour.

Mourinho said he expected to bring in only one new player before the new Premier League season kicks off despite submitting a list of five transfer targets to club bosses earlier in 2018.

United’s failure to bolster their resources and the absence of several key first-team players following the World Cup has forced Mourinho to field several untested youngsters during the US tour.

On Saturday United were torn apart by Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool at Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the Red Devils’ penultimate game before facing Real Madrid in Miami on Tuesday. They face a further friendly against Bayern Munich in Munich on August 5.

Mourinho, who has become increasingly downbeat during the tour, cut a frustrated figure as he spoke about the club’s relative inactivity in the market.

"I would like to have two more players," Mourinho said. "I think I am not going to have two. I think that it’s possible I’m going to have one. I gave a list to my club of five names a few months ago and I wait to see if it’s possible to have one of these players… If it’s possible, it’s good. If not then we keep fighting and working and believing in the players that we have."

To a question about Chilean international Alexis Sanchez’s performance against Liverpool, Mourinho suggested the pre-season tour had been of little value, adding that the team were just trying to "survive".

"You want him to be very happy with the players he has around him?" Mourinho said of Sanchez. "We are not playing here to improve the team or our dynamic. We are playing here just to survive and to have some not very happy results.

"Alexis is the only attacking player we have. We don’t have wingers, we don’t have strikers, he is the only who is here.

"And the poor man is there trying his best with the frustration of one who wants more."

Mourinho praised the contributions of other senior players such as Juan Mata, Ander Herrera and Eric Bailly.

Bailly volunteered to face Liverpool after Chris Smalling was injured during the warm-up exercise. "We have four or five players who … try to give everything, even risking themselves," Mourinho said.

Serbian international Nemanja Matic will miss the start of the season after undergoing surgery in Philadelphia to address an undisclosed injury. "He came from the World Cup with an injury, and the time he had to rest in the holiday was not enough to resolve the problem," Mourinho said.