Mourinho outlines Man Utd transfer plans as he targets 'two or three' summer buys

Michael Carrick Manchester United
The Portuguese manager says that the club need to replace Michael Carrick, who has played just once this season

Jose Mourinho has hinted that Manchester United will attempt to sign two midfield players in the summer, as they look to replace Michael Carrick.

Carrick, 36, has played just once this season, after being struck down by a heart scare following United's 4-1 win over Burton Albion in the EFL Cup.

Mourinho believes Carrick is a "phenomenal player", but has outlined his intentions to potentially refresh his midfield with two new additions - one to replace the former England international, and one to further bolster his squad.

Overall, Mourinho is hoping up to three new faces arrive at Old Trafford this summer. 

"I think, next season, we are going to get two or three more players," Mourinho told United's official website. "We are going to lose also two or three. If you can try to anticipate, you can more or less see that it's normal that this is going to happen. It's not going to happen - a dramatic change and a dramatic improvement - but in time, step by step, with some balance, we have to do it.

"If, next summer, we are going to sign a midfield player, it's to replace Michael Carrick and Michael is a phenomenal player that, this season, he couldn't give us anything at all.

"He's in the end of his career so if, next summer, we buy a midfield player, it's not to improve our squad - it's to replace Michael Carrick. So, to improve our squad in the midfield, we would need to buy two."

United spent over £140 million in the summer to sign the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof, but Mourinho insists that he has yet to truly strengthen, merely replacing those who were unable to contribute.

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"I have the backing of the club and the first backing of the club I had was a three-year contract where everybody knows the job was not easy," he added. "And we all know that we invest a lot, so when you invest as much as we did, it wouldn't be very fair for me to say the club didn't support, the club didn't want to help. It would be very unfair, which is not me. 

"The club invested a lot of money. The problem is not the money we invest, the problem is the money the others invest and it is the problem that others with better squads, with better stability, with more options, they keep investing and that's the only problem because, for example, we bought a striker in the summer - a very good striker [Romelu Lukaku] - but that good striker was to replace Zlatan [Ibrahimovic].

"It was not to be him and Zlatan in the best of their form from day one. We signed [Victor] Lindelof. We didn't have Marcos Rojo [at the start of the season]. We had problems, so when we are signing players in the last two years, it's to replace people."