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Jose Mourinho delays plans for fourth Manchester United signing - sources

Craig Burley goes to the tactics board to break down Nemanja Matic's key role in Man United's win over West Ham.
Brian McBride questions whether or not Mourinho is making the right move to hold off on any additional Man United signings.

Jose Mourinho is prepared to wait until January before making further additions to his Manchester United squad after deciding against funding a move for a fourth summer signing by offloading his fringe players, sources have told ESPN FC.

United have spent in excess of £160 million by signing Romelu Lukaku, Victor Lindelof and Nemanja Matic from Everton, Benfica and Chelsea respectively this summer.

Mourinho has made it clear that he handed executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward a target list of four players at the end of last season, but efforts to add a winger to his squad have proved frustrating, with United failing to make progress in a move for Inter Milan's Ivan Perisic.

Long-standing interest in Gareth Bale has also come to nothing, with the Real Madrid player displaying no inclination to leave the European champions.

Mourinho remains keen to add a further attacking player to his squad, but he is aware that he will have to sell at least one member of his squad before making a final move in the transfer market before the Aug. 31 deadline.

And with the United manager reluctant to upset the harmony of his squad, sources have told ESPN FC that Mourinho would now rather wait until January before reassessing his options.

Jose Mourinho saw new signings Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic impress in their Premier League opener.

Despite reducing the squad wage bill by around £500,000-a-week with the sale of Wayne Rooney to Everton and the departure of the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic, United have only raised £9.8m in sales this summer from Adnan Januzaj's transfer to Real Sociedad.

The January exits of Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay to Everton and Lyon respectively raised £50m and United have had interest in several members of their squad this summer.

But while the likes of Chris Smalling, Anthony Martial, Matteo Darmian and Marouane Fellaini all face battles to secure regular first-team football this season, Mourinho is unwilling to sanction their departures -- particularly so in the case of Smalling and Darmian due to the injuries that currently sideline Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo.

January could lead to a change of outlook, especially if Shaw and Rojo return to form and fitness, while Mourinho is prepared to offer Ibrahimovic a short-term deal in the New Year if the Swedish forward successfully returns to action following his cruciate ligament injury.

But with the transfer window due to close in 15 days, Mourinho is now planning to work with the squad at his disposal unless an unexpected opportunity to make a signing arises over the next fortnight.

Mark Ogden is a senior football writer for ESPN FC. Follow him @MarkOgden_

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