Friday 20 April 2018

Mourinho rubbishes rumours of United exit

Mourinho has never stayed longer than three years at one club. Photo credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
Mourinho has never stayed longer than three years at one club. Photo credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

James Ducker

Jose Mourinho has dismissed as "garbage" claims he could quit Old Trafford this summer, insisting he wants to remain as manager for as long as possible.

Mourinho will have 12 months left on his £12 million-a-year (€13.5m) deal this summer but it was revealed yesterday that detailed discussions had taken place with the Portuguese and his agent Jorge Mendes over the past month about extending that contract.

The United manager came out fighting yesterday as he reacted to claims he was unhappy in Manchester and exasperated with the club over transfers by stressing his long-term commitment, defending his decision to still live in a hotel and insisting he did not need to "behave as a clown" on the touchline to convince his critics he retains his passion.

"It depends on what you want to know and what you want to speak about."

Mourinho said on his future. "If you want to speak about some news, I say, 'garbage'. I don't find a better word to define the talk.

"If you want to ask me directly... if I see myself next season in Manchester United, I say I see myself here," said Mourinho ahead of tonight's FA Cup third-round tie at home to Derby County.

"My intention is to stay, and to bring the club to where it belongs. My dedication is total and I'm here to stay for as long as the club thinks I should. It is a question of the club, the board, the owners, Mr (Ed) Woodward (United's executive vice-chairman).

They all are happy with my contribution and want me to stay beyond the end of this contract."

Mourinho has never stayed longer than three years at one club and, more than 19 months after his appointment at Old Trafford, the 54-year-old is still living at the Lowry hotel in Salford while his wife Matilde stays in London.

Afforded

But Mourinho said he was "very lazy" and, as such, enjoyed the comforts hotel living afforded him, as well as the proximity to his assistants, who live in apartments nearby in Manchester city centre.

"If the fans want me to be comfortable, that's the way I feel comfortable," he said. "I am very lazy. I like to arrive in the hotel. I don't want anyone to be worried.

"I'm in an apartment where I have all the comfort and support, like living in a house. If they are worried about me being comfortable and happy, I really am.

"If they want me to be in a house I don't like - lonely, away from my assistants - then I would be a sad guy, and sad guys don't work well."

Mourinho also defended his subdued manner on the touchline in comparison to more animated counterparts by saying he did not need to act the "clown" to show he cared.

Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte, Mourinho's rivals at Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea respectively, are known for their exuberance.

"Because I don't behave as a clown, it means I've lost my passion?" said Mourinho. "I prefer to behave as I am - more mature, better for myself and the team. You don't have to behave like a crazy guy. I manage to dedicate myself so strongly to every one of my clubs."

Asked if everything was in place at United that he needed, Mourinho said: "Help, yes. Commitment, yes. Conditions is a different thing but it's part of my job to create those."

Signing a winger is Mourinho's priority in the transfer window - after United were reluctant to meet Inter Milan's £49m (€55m) asking price for Ivan Perisic last summer.

He also wants a central midfielder but doubts there will be any signings. United retain a keen interest in Tottenham left-back Danny Rose but have been impressed by Luke Shaw's performances and will give him a chance to show his worth over the remainder of the season.

United could keep faith in the England defender and, instead, look to sign another young left-back, such as Fulham's Ryan Sessegnon, in the summer.

Meanwhile, United have invoked options in the contracts of Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Daley Blind and Ashley Young to extend their deals by 12 months to the end of next season. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is a target for Inter, but United will not entertain a loan deal.

United face Derby at Old Trafford in the FA Cup tonight and Mourinho confirmed Sergio Romero will start in goal instead of De Gea. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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