Football: 'Silly to Pep up Guardiola clash'

Manchester United's new manager Jose Mourinho (centre) outside his home in central London last week. Amid media speculation on his plans in the transfer market, the Portuguese has revealed that he will not be signing a midfielder from his country.
Manchester United's new manager Jose Mourinho (centre) outside his home in central London last week. Amid media speculation on his plans in the transfer market, the Portuguese has revealed that he will not be signing a midfielder from his country.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Manchester United manager Mourinho says La Liga tactic will not work in the Premier League

LONDON • Jose Mourinho has indicated that his chances of success at Manchester United will be damaged if he allows himself to be distracted by his rivalry with Pep Guardiola.

The pair, who have a longstanding mutual antipathy, will be at neighbouring clubs in football's English Premier League next season, with Guardiola preparing to take charge of Manchester City.

The new United manager, though, has suggested that playing out that rivalry excessively in public will be of no benefit to either club.

While visiting the University of Lisbon, in his native Portugal, to give a lecture on coaching, Mourinho, said on Tuesday: "My experience does not allow me to be innocent. For two years Pep and I were in a league where the champion would be either me or him, Real Madrid or Barcelona.

"In a situation like this, individual fights make sense because they can influence things. (But) in the Premier League, if I focus on him and Manchester City, and he on me and Manchester United, someone else is going to win the league."

MULTI-WAY BATTLE

If I focus on him (Pep Guardiola) and Manchester City, and he on me and Manchester United, someone else is going to win the league.

JOSE MOURINHO, Manchester United manager, indicating that playing out his rivalry with new Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will not benefit either party.

Their only meeting in the past four years came in 2013 when Guardiola's Bayern Munich defeated Mourinho's Chelsea on penalties in Prague to win the Uefa Super Cup.

Mourinho was confirmed as United's new manager last week, while Guardiola was named the new City boss in February.

Their next encounter will be at the Bird's Nest Stadium, in Beijing, on July 25, when the clubs play in the pre-season International Champions Cup.

Mourinho will aim to have strengthened United's squad by then, with the manager interested in signing midfielder Willian from Chelsea. However, he has indicated that he has no plans to try to sign two Portugal midfielders linked with the club: Andre Gomes, of Valencia, and Joao Mario, of Sporting Lisbon.

"I won't be signing any player from Portugal," he said.

According to British media reports, Mourinho has been given £200 million (S$397.5 million) to spend.

But former United player Dwight Yorke believes the new manager will have to cut away plenty of deadwood and could again sell Juan Mata, whom Mourinho sold during his second spell at Chelsea.

"We obviously know about Mata and Jose and that hasn't changed and there will be a few players under the microscope who aren't Manchester United players who somehow got in there," Yorke told 888sport.

"They've underperformed and no one is safe apart from David de Gea, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Wayne Rooney."

Reports emerged earlier this week that Mourinho is planning on selling at least six of his current United squad.

Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo claimed that Mata is top of the list, with Barcelona eyeing a £26 million deal.

Matteo Darmian, Sergio Romero, Marcos Rojo, Memphis Depay and Antonio Valencia were all also reported as potential departures.

THE TIMES, LONDON, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 02, 2016, with the headline ''Silly to Pep up Guardiola clash''. Print Edition | Subscribe