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Sunday 23 October 2016

Jose Mourinho - what he said

Published 21/07/2016 | 22:36

Jose Mourinho is approaching his first season as Manchester United manager
Jose Mourinho is approaching his first season as Manchester United manager

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho spoke to a small group of journalists during the pre-season tour of China.

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Here, Press Association Sport picks out some of the best bits from the interview in Shanghai.

On the future at Manchester United...

"Well, I think by the motivational point of view it is very important to forget the past three years and to focus on good times. I think that's what everybody wants at the club, it is what every fan around the world wants. But at the same time I think it is intelligent to understand that times are different and realities are different. I don't think it's possible for Man United to win so much in the next 20 years than it happened in the past 20 years. I don't think it's possible, times change."

On interest in Juventus' Paul Pogba...

"You have smoke, you have fire - you used to say something like that, right? I am not going to try to make you naive and believe that we are not trying for one player. But we know first of all that the player belongs to another club, which is not a small club. It is also a big club, a club with economical power to fight for their best players, to try and keep their best players. Apart from that we know other clubs are also involved and for us it is not kind of 'are we going to win the race or to lose the race?'. It is not a race, it is just the market."

On the midfield role spec...

"Before the face, we have the profile. We studied the best we could the Man United squad from the last season. We established the profile of four players to improve the squad, to give us more options, especially adapted to my way of thinking about football. We have one space for a midfield player. Everybody speaks about one, but it wouldn't be a surprise for me if it is not him and it is another one because we went for profile. We have two more options in front of us and we are going to close one."

On United captain Wayne Rooney...

"I am quite surprised with so many question marks around this guy. I know that at the national team level you have this capacity of trying to make things complicated for yourself, so what happened around him in the summer was not a surprise for me. But in my club we are not going to have that. He is the club captain, he is the manager's captain, he is the players' captain. I trust him a lot. I think he's going to be a very important player for me and no problem for him."

On Juan Mata's future...

"In this moment I arrive, he's here, he works hard. He knows that I know he is a good player and he has space in the squad. But again until the 31st of August the market is open for every one of my players that is not happy. But to be fair, I think he is. I think he is happy and I am not expecting him to ask to leave. I am expecting him to do what he is doing now, which is to fight for a place. In the end there will be space for everyone. We have 38 matches in the Premier League, we expect to play a lot of them in the Europa League and domestic cups, so a squad of let's say 22 players (means) there will be a space for everyone. So, yes, there is a space for Juan."

Press Association

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