LONDON – Jose Mourinho says Manchester United are prepared to do business in the January transfer window should a “fantastic opportunity” arise as speculation intensifies that Alexis Sanchez is on his way to Old Trafford.
Two weeks ago Mourinho thought it was unlikely there would be any arrivals at this month but Sanchez's apparent availability may have changed all that.
The Arsenal forward, out of contract in the summer, appears to be on his way out of the north London club after being omitted from the Gunners' squad to face Bournemouth on Sunday.
Previous suitors Manchester City are understood to be reluctant to pay a quoted cost in the region of £35 million ($48 million, 39 million euros) to land Sanchez now and that could pave the way for their rivals United to step in and do a deal.
Mourinho has done nothing to rule out United's interest in Sanchez, calling him a “phenomenal player”, and admitted that his club's summer plans will be altered should he recruit over the next two weeks.
“Our squad was not (built) to have new players in January,” he said. “We build a squad with this idea, with this philosophy that I share with Mr (Ed) Woodward and the owners. Normally the investment is to be made in the summer. The balance of the squad is made in the summer.
“But sometimes, it (a transfer) can happen. OK, if on the table is a fantastic opportunity, you fight for that fantastic opportunity. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. But I like my squad and I like my players.”
United, second in the Premier League, have their first game in 10 days on Monday when managerless Stoke visit Old Trafford.
Mourinho used the gap in the calendar to take his team to a warm-weather training camp in Dubai.