"But it's the same conversation as with (Ashley) Young, (Marouane) Fellaini, (Jesse) Lingard, it's the same. I'd prefer to look to the bench and to have them rather than to have 16-year-old boys without experience and without the power to be Premier Leagues players directly", said Mourinho.
Last season may have been United's highest finish since Sir Alex Ferguson retired but the 19-point gap to runaway Premier League champions Manchester City underlined the improvements required.
United brought in Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk and full-back Diego Dalot from Porto, while goalkeeper Lee Grant joined on a two-year deal from Stoke, in one of the more left-field transfers of the window.
It is understood United officials have grown increasingly tired and suspicious of Pogba's high-profile agent Mino Raiola, whom they blame for stories that his client would prefer to play for Barcelona. There are ways to improve your team: one way is to spend a lot of money and to bring in lots of important players, another way is to work and that's the way we have to do it.
Speaking at Carrington, Mourinho said: "If they feel they can help us, 20 minutes, ten minutes half an hour..."
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Mourinho warned last weekend that a "difficult season" could lie ahead if they failed to strengthen the squad before the deadline, but an inflated market has made the challenge of improving defensively an even tougher ask. We don't have many solutions and want to go with everything we have.
Since then, he's fallen out of favor at times at United under Mourinho and was unable to sustain consistent playing time.
"I have nothing to learn", said Mourinho.
"But again, the perception of the people that reads can be different, but I like my players and my group".
Internally, the greatest frustration for Mourinho has been waiting for the return of those players who had the longest World Cup campaigns. If it's not going well, though, I don't want to hear the moaning and groaning and I am sure the United fans don't want to hear it as well. "You will see which teams are candidates".
"He had the first three or four days of training and first couple of matches where he played 40 or 50 minutes".