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Jose Mourinho has calmed Manchester United fans’ fears after a quiet transfer window by insisting that he is better prepared to explain away defeats than ever before.

After finishing 19 points back from rivals Manchester City last term, United supporters were hoping to see their side land some high-profile additions over the summer but were forced to settle for Porto’s Diogo Dalot, back-up goalkeeper Lee Grant and a man named Fred.  

However, instead of bemoaning the lack of deals, Mourinho looked delighted as he promised that the last few weeks had given him all the ammunition he needs to be scratchier, whinier and more self-pitying than ever before.

“The real winner of the summer transfer window is me, Jose Mourinho,” Jose Mourinho told FourFourTwo.

“Of course we could have signed Diego Godin, Harry Maguire or Jerome Boateng, but Ed Woodward has given me the greatest gift of all – carte blanche to play the victim whenever we lose and to claim it as some kind of against-the-odds fairytale when we win.

“I’ve spent the whole summer working night and day on a rich playbook of conspiracy theories and allusions to our lack of signings.

“We can be playing Burnley or Cardiff and I’ll make sure we’re the underdogs. By the end of December I’ll be able to set up a crowdfunding campaign for our winter window and have fans across the world rallying around us.”

Key preparation

Sources who travelled with United across America have reported that Mourinho has filled multiple notebooks with what they initially believed to be tactics, but instead proved to be pre-prepared excuses.

“Jose doesn’t take any chances on turning up to a press conference and being held responsible for a result,” our source told FFT.

“He’s prepared for any outcome of any game with a litany of possible template excuses, which he can then tailor to meet the specific events.

“Some of them are the usual bog-standard, ‘I don’t want to talk about referees but…’ kind of stuff, but towards the end of Volume Three, they start to get much more outlandish.

“For example, in the event of dropping points at Crystal Palace he intends to blame an injury crisis, he’ll pin a late penalty conceded at Chelsea on the southward equinox, and United’s Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich can be blamed on a poor offside decision, fixture congestion or Vernon Kay, depending on which seems more viable.”

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