Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has complained that clubs are being forced into paying huge transfer fees previously reserved for superstars for merely "good" players this summer.
Mourinho is targeting a third summer signing following the arrival of striker Romelu Lukaku and defender Victor Lindelof at Old Trafford for a combined cost of more than £100m.
The Portuguese would ideally have added even more to his squad ahead of the forthcoming season yet he said United, despite being the richest club in the world, are not ready to meet asking prices such as the £50m rivals Manchester City paid Tottenham for right-back Kyle Walker.
"I'm ready to go from four [player transfers] to three because the market is difficult, some clubs think the market is different from others," Mourinho said.
"We are not a club that is ready to pay what the clubs want us to pay so I'm ready to go from four to three. The transfer fees don't surprise me, really. I kept saying there is big economic power at every club. It allows clubs to say no, to say 'pay what I want or you don't get it'.
"I can imagine City would like to pay £25m for Kyle [Walker] but they were told this is the price.
"The option is to pay or not. I am used to clubs paying big amounts for big players. Now everybody pays big amounts for good players."
Mourinho's former club Chelsea have negotiated a club-record fee for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata, after United and Real were unable to negotiate terms earlier in the summer.
The move comes after United beat the Premier League champions to their own preferred target Lukaku, and Mourinho says he is more preoccupied with the players now at his disposal than with Chelsea's signings.
"I'm not interested in what Chelsea FC does, really," he said.
"We have a player [Lukaku] who is now a top player. You have to prove it at the highest level, he has to do it for United, in Champions League matches. But he has amazing qualities.
"Chelsea, it was obvious they were going to sign a striker after the situation with the manager and Diego [Costa]."