Football: Mourinho rejects offers, reveals fragile ego at United

LONDON • Jose Mourinho revealed that he has turned down three job offers since being sacked by Manchester United last month, adding he was happy to bide his time before taking on his next challenge.

Speaking in his role as a pundit for broadcaster beIN Sports during the Asian Cup on Saturday, the Portuguese also said rivals Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp enjoyed more support at their clubs.

"I am happy with these three weeks, I am happy with this experience and I am going to have other experiences that normally I cannot have," Mourinho said.

"But I know me and, I know by the end of March, I will be struggling with my happiness.

"I will analyse things, I don't like to speak about it. But I've refused already three options because I didn't feel that it is what I want, so I'm going to be calm in this aspect."

At United, Mourinho was left frustrated in the close-season transfer window when Liverpool, in particular, strengthened markedly and Manchester City added to a squad already deep in quality.

"At Man City in the first season, Guardiola was not a champion. In the second season, Pep made great decisions, but those that were supported. In the same summer, he sold four full-backs and bought four backs.

"At Liverpool, how many players were there before Jurgen Klopp arrived? If you are a manager and you choose the players to follow your idea, that's one thing.

"The other thing is when you are not able to do that."

Mourinho also claimed that modern footballers have such fragile egos that one United player asked not to be criticised in front of his team-mates.

"When I coach on the pitch, I like to see myself free because I am in family and I want to be able to criticise everyone," he said.

"I had one player say, he was very polite and not confrontational, 'Please, when you criticise me, can you do it in private?'.

"I said why and he said, 'Because it's my stature in front of the other players, when you criticise me I don't feel comfortable'.

"He was one of the top players of his generation. Nowadays you have to be very smart in the way you read your players and their personalities."

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 21, 2019, with the headline 'Mourinho rejects offers, reveals fragile ego at United'. Print Edition | Subscribe