Friday 23 August 2019

Man Utd confident Mourinho will stay amid PSG rumours

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. Photo: PA
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. Photo: PA

James Ducker

Manchester United believe Jose Mourinho remains as hungry for success as ever and harbour no concerns about him being tempted to leave, even though there have yet to be talks over a new contract.

Mourinho appeared to flirt publicly with Paris St-Germain in an interview last month and just days later reports emerged that he could leave United amid reputed frustrations over the way the club was run.

The Portuguese has reached the halfway stage of his three-year deal at Old Trafford, but while there are no immediate plans for a contract extension, it is understood United would be happy for him to stay longer.

Mourinho does have an option in his contract to extend for a fourth year to June 2020.

United have lost two of their past three Premier League matches, against Huddersfield Town and Chelsea, to fall eight points behind league leaders Manchester City and entertain Newcastle tomorrow.

United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has raised the prospect of being used in a deeper No 10 role, rather than as a central striker, once he returns to action after seven months out with a ruptured cruciate ligament.

Ibrahimovic will wear the No 10 shirt after vacating the No 9 jersey now worn by Romelu Lukaku and could see himself being deployed in behind the Belgium striker.

"To me, No 10 is the star," Ibrahimovic said.

"The one who makes the difference, gets noticed, wins the matches and is the leader. And I see myself in that position but it is not something that is given to you, it is just something you are, that's just the way it is.

"I feel like a 10 and I stand for No 10. That is my goal and it will happen. There are no other options.

"I was not going to let this injury stop me. The will to get better, wanting to do more, never giving up. Daring to take it to new levels where there are no limits."

Meanwhile, United have reported a 17pc increase in revenues to £141m (€158m) for the three months to September 30 compared to the same period last year.

It has emerged the club made £17.3m (€19.4m) through a combination of Adnan Januzaj's sale to Real Sociedad and sell-on clauses for Danny Drinkwater and Michael Keane, who joined Chelsea and Everton in the summer.

United's commercial revenue for the quarter rose by £6.2m (€7m) to £80.5m (€90.2m), with the increase attributed to a greater number of pre-season friendly matches during the club's summer visit to the United States.

A return to the Champions League helped broadcasting (€42.7m) and match-day revenues (€25m) rise by around a third.

Qualification for European football's elite club competition also saw salary increases for members of the playing staff, with the expense of employee benefits rising to £69.9m (€78.3m), an increase of 12.2pc.

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