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Jose Mourinho open to adding to Manchester United squad in January

MANCHESTER -- Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has refused to rule out boosting his squad in the January transfer window.

United have fallen 11 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City in the title race, and ahead of Sunday's trip to West Brom, Mourinho says he would be keen to take advantage of an opportunity to add to his side if one presents itself.

He told a news conference: "I'm not a big defender of the January market but there are players and situations that sometimes you have the chance to do and you shouldn't lose that chance.

"I don't like the January market just to buy. But if you can buy one you would buy in June, with the chance a few months before, then great."

United have been linked with moves for Tottenham full-back Danny Rose and Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil. Ozil could be available for a cut-price fee with his contract at the Emirates Stadium set to expire in the summer, though Arsene Wenger has said that he will not be leaving the club in January.

Mourinho has also been linked with Antoine Griezmann, who Diego Simeone has said could soon leave Atletico Madrid.

But asked specifically about Griezmann, Mourinho refused to add to the speculation.

Jose Mourinho press conference 20171212
Jose Mourinho's Manchester United have been linked with a number of players in January.

He added: "I don't speak about players, especially players who belong to other clubs."

Mourinho will again be without Eric Bailly against West Brom, with United having decided the Ivory Coast international needs surgery to correct an ankle problem. He is expected to be out for another "two to three months," according to Mourinho.

United will hope to cut City's lead this weekend with Pep Guardiola's side entertaining Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening, and despite the gap at the top, Mourinho has not given up hope of overhauling their rivals.

United's points haul of 38 from 17 games would have been enough to sit top of table at the same stage in four of the last 10 seasons.

Mourinho said: "We are second. We could be first in other seasons, yes, but we are second. This is where we are. One match at a time. Let's see at the end of the season where we are.

"I knew it wasn't going to be an easy job. I had that experience before. We go to clubs with a huge history where people look to the history and not to the moment, and expectations are high. The job is difficult but I've had that experience before."

Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.


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