Jose Mourinho would never have sold Angel Di Maria, Javier Hernandez or Danny Welbeck, nor would the manager have given the go ahead to some of Manchester United’s signings.
United have lost their place as the dominant force in English football since Sir Alex Ferguson called time on his glory-laden reign in 2013.
The Old Trafford giants turned to Mourinho after frustrating spells under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal – a period when United flashed the cash without much success.
The Portuguese says he would never have moved for some of those brought in, with some of those exiting United puzzling him.
“Manchester United sold players that I would never sell and bought players that I would never buy,” Mourinho told BBC Sport.
“I would never have sold Di Maria, Chicharito, Danny Welbeck – never, no chance.”
Di Maria was allowed to join Paris St Germain in 2015 after a woeful and unsettling year at Old Trafford.
Hernandez joined Bayer Leverkusen in a cut-price deal later that month, while Louis van Gaal allowed Welbeck to join Arsenal the previous summer.
Three Van Gaal signings, Luke Shaw, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Anthony Martial, were left out of the squad for Thursday’s Europa League last-16 second leg against Rostov.
The trio trained away from the main group on the eve of the game, with Martial having missed Monday’s FA Cup quarter-final at Chelsea through injury.
Shaw was called up by England on Thursday despite only playing twice for United since November 30.