Jose Mourinho admits Manchester City and Tottenham are in a “similar situation” to Manchester United this summer.
United have had a difficult transfer window, complicated by players taking part in the World Cup, which has made it difficult to bring in new signings.
It has all been a bit of a muddle at Old Trafford, but Mourinho concedes that his side are not alone.
The Portuguese says that Chelsea and Liverpool in particular have had a far better pre-season, however.
“If you look to the players Chelsea and Liverpool have in pre-season, especially these two teams, also Arsenal, I think if you compare you see the difference of the situation,” he said.
“Man City and Tottenham are in the similar situation as we are.”
He added: “I am happy with the evolution of the matches (on the tour), but I don’t have the players to work.
“I don’t have the majority of the players that are going to be in the squad on August 9 when the market closes and we can make it official for the season. So of course I’m not happy, to have just a few players.”
Mourinho also said that “the situation is not amazing” for United with regard to their first two league games of 2018-19, Leicester at home on August 10 and Brighton away nine days later.
“When I look to Leicester, if I am not wrong, only (Harry) Maguire and (Jamie) Vardy were in the World Cup, the final phase, because (Kasper) Schmiechel was, but back sooner,” he said.
“I think a team that is working for six weeks minimum, with all the players except one central defender and one striker that can join in the last week and probably be available, I think that is clear, a much better situation for them.
“When I look to Brighton, the second game, I don’t think they have any player that is not doing a very good pre-season with lots of matches and training all together.
“So, of course, against Leicester and Brighton, the situation is not amazing for us.
“I would say the third match (against Tottenham at home on August 27), playing against a team in a similar situation as us, I think then after three weeks is okay.