Jose Mourinho insists reports he may quit Manchester United this summer are 'garbage': 'My intention is to stay'

James Ducker
The Telegraph
Jose Mourinho of Manchester United speaks during a press conference at Aon Training Complex on December 29, 2017 in Manchester, England - Manchester United
Jose Mourinho of Manchester United speaks during a press conference at Aon Training Complex on December 29, 2017 in Manchester, England - Manchester United

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

Mourinho will have 12 months left on his £12 million-a-year deal this summer but Telegraph Sport revealed on Thursday that detailed discussions had taken place with the Portuguese and his agent, Jorge Mendes, over the past month about extending that contract beyond June next year.

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The United manager came out fighting on Thursday 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 Friday's FA Cup third-round tie at home to Derby County. “I’m going to leave when the club wants me to leave, because I have no intention to leave at all. My intention is to stay, and to work and to improve and to bring the club to where the club belongs and I want to stay. And I don’t see any reason not to stay. My dedication is total and I’m here to stay for as long as the club thinks I should stay.

<span>Mourinho has looked an unhappy figure in recent weeks</span> <span>Credit: REUTERS </span>
Mourinho has looked an unhappy figure in recent weeks Credit: REUTERS

“I see myself here [after three years]. It is just a question of the club, the board, the owners, Mr [Ed] Woodward [United’s executive vice-chairman]. They all want, they all are happy with my contribution and they 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, remains in London.

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 and supported, I really am. If they want me to be in a house that I don’t like – lonely, away from my assistants – then I would be a sad guy, and sad guys don’t work well.”

Sam Wallace Mourinho
Sam Wallace Mourinho

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 all 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. It’s not what you do in front of the cameras. I manage to dedicate myself so strongly to every one of my clubs. I become emotionally connected.”

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

Signing a winger is Mourinho’s priority in the transfer window ­after United were reluctant to meet Inter Milan’s £49 million asking price for Ivan Perisic last summer. He also wants a central midfielder but has said he doubts there will be any signings.

United retain a keen interest in Tottenham left-back Danny Rose but they have been impressed by Luke Shaw’s performances in recent weeks and will give him a chance to show his worth over the remainder of the campaign before deciding if they need to invest heavily in a new first-choice left-back.

If Shaw convinces Mourinho, 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. The longer-term futures of Mata and Blind, in particular, are uncertain, although Mata’s situation is likely to be influenced by what happens with Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Mkhitaryan is Inter’s first-choice target for the No 10 role but United will not entertain the Armenian leaving on loan.

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