Jose Mourinho believes that Manchester United would have been forced to splash out £200million on Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic had the club tried to sign the duo after Neymar‘s world-record move to Paris Saint-Germain.

United signed Lukaku from Everton in a £75m deal in early July before the Red Devils completed a £40m move for Chelsea midfielder Matic later the same month.

Their £115m expenditure on the two players paled in comparison, however, to the £198m that PSG paid to sign Neymar from Barcelona on August 3.

And Mourinho believes United were “clever” in conducting their transfer business earlier in the summer window because had they waited until deadline day, the Neymar fee would have inflated the £115m they paid for Lukaku and Matic to £200m, according to the Portuguese coach.

Speaking in an interview with The Times, Mourinho said: “I think we were very clever. We thought that something could happen that could change the market forever. 

“Normally the last part of the market is less expensive, but this season, after Neymar, everything changed – and changed for the worse in terms of prices.

“I think Lukaku on August 31 would have been £150million. Matic would have been £60m or £70million. Neymar changed everything.

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“If the biggest transfer in history had still been Pogba, I think Philippe Coutinho would now be in Barcelona at £101million.

“People look to the £200million figure now. Now the players of £20million became £50million, the players of £40million became £60million and everything changed. 

“Lukaku and Matic, now, would have cost us £200million in total. But because we did it in the first part of the summer, it was much less. I think we did well in financial terms and well in preparation terms, getting them before the season started. That is not crucial, but it is important.”