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Manchester United's Jose Mourinho plays down talk of summer overhaul

MANCHESTER, England -- Manchester United will rely on "evolution rather than spending" to bridge the gap with Manchester City this summer, according to Jose Mourinho.

The United manager says he will improve his squad ahead of next season with sources telling ESPN FC a central midfielder to replace Michael Carrick is his top priority.

But he has suggested there will not be major changes at Old Trafford with the 55-year-old instead looking to improve the players already at his disposal.

"We are going to invest the basic to improve our squad," he said. "We are going again to touch our squad and believe that more than spend, spend, spend, is probably the evolution of our players.

"We have some young players that need to get, with both hands, opportunities with their evolution, so let's see."

Sources have told ESPN FC that United chiefs also expect there to be departures this summer.

Matteo Darmian has made just three starts in the Premier League this season and has been linked with a return to Italy with Juventus. Daley Blind has missed three months with an ankle ligament injury but has struggled for opportunities when he has been fit.

Meanwhile, sources have told ESPN FC that Anthony Martial has been frustrated by a lack of first-team football since the arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in January.

"There is always in the group of players, in the squad, there is always a player or a couple of players who are not playing a lot, and they will obviously try to leave," Mourinho added.

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

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