Just 24 hours after insisting that Manchester United could only close the gap on Pep Guardiola's league leaders by spending more money, Mourinho must have felt that he was being hit from both sides with City coasting to victory at Newcastle and Liverpool's American owners sanctioning the huge move for Van Dijk.
But the flip side for Mourinho is that the events of Wednesday evening offered him the ammunition, if needed, to strong-arm United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, and the Glazer family, United's owners, into coming up with the funds he believes are required to make his team contenders rather than merely the best of the rest.
There was little immediate support for Mourinho in the wake of his comments, following Tuesday's 2-2 Old Trafford draw against Burnley, which suggested that, despite spending more than £300m on new players since arriving at United 18 months ago, the team still needed much more investment in order to compete with City.
But the reality is that, regardless of the vast sums spent by Mourinho at United, they are still in need of at least four players to take them to the level at which both they and the manager expect to be.
United under Mourinho are a paradox, so his comments cannot be dismissed out of hand as little more than sour grapes after spending a fortune.
The money spent has triggered a big improvement at United under Mourinho -- they won two major trophies in his first season last year and they currently sit second in the Premier League with 10 more points than at the same stage of last season.
Written by Mark Ogden, Senior Football Writer