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Friday 9 December 2016

Jose Mourinho puts deadline on managerial hiatus: I will be working again by July

Published 12/05/2016 | 18:35

Rumours have been rife that Jose Mourinho will replace Louis van Gaal at Manchester United
Rumours have been rife that Jose Mourinho will replace Louis van Gaal at Manchester United

Jose Mourinho is certain he will be managing a club within two months but says the delayed appointment will compromise preseason preparations.

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The 53-year-old Portuguese has been strongly linked with the Manchester United job but speaking from Mexico on Wednesday, he claimed to "know nothing" about a move to Old Trafford to replace Louis van Gaal.

Mourinho, who was sacked as Chelsea manager in December, was back in the dugout on Wednesday in the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City to coach a Fifa Legends team, featuring Ronaldinho and Fabio Cannavaro, against a Mexican All-stars side.

Managing a team again, albeit for an exhibition ahead of the Fifa Congress, had whetted Mourinho's appetite for a return to coaching.

"Of course I miss [it]," Mourinho said. "In July I will be back. So we are in May. May to July is nothing. I keep enjoying my life which I'm doing, keep enjoying my family. But in July I am back."

Asked when he needs to sign a contract by, the London-based Mourinho responded: "June 30 - that's fine."

Manchester United has not denied months of reports that Van Gaal will leave Old Trafford at the end of the season and be replaced by Mourinho, who coached Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Porto around his two stints at Chelsea.

Van Gaal's United remains in doubt with a fourth place finish in the Premier League now out of the team's hands. To qualify for the Champions League, United must beat Bournemouth and rely on Manchester City losing to Swansea on the final day of the season on Sunday.

"I don't know. I know nothing about it really," Mourinho said, when asked about being hired by United. "I don't have a club and I was waiting for these guys [the Fifa Legends] to win the match to give me a hand but because I lost the match [9-8] it's even more difficult to get the club."

United director David Gill is also in Mexico City in his capacity as a Fifa vice president.

If Mourinho does resume employment in July he won't have officially been involved in planning for the club's season.

"It's difficult because when you get a new club in this period normally the clubs they did already their work," Mourinho said. "I give you an example. I'm not the Chelsea manager but I organised the Chelsea pre-season in many aspects because I did that 10 months ago.

"Clubs have their commercial, marketing departments always involved in everything. When a new manager arrives in May, June it's very difficult to touch in some points but we know that."

But Mourinho said a late appointment would not affect his ability to identify and sign transfer targets ahead of the start of the new season in August.

"Scouting is done during the year," Mourinho said. "It's not even a competition like the Euros where you are going to find by miracle some new talents. We know everybody, so it's just a question of trying to choose the players that your team needs because the scouting, with our structures, we do it for many, many players."

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