Mourinho rubbishes 'garbage' claims he will quit United

LONDON • Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho slammed British media reports yesterday that claimed that he could resign at the end of the season, insisting they are nothing but "garbage".

"I don't find a better word than to define the talk," he said at his press conference ahead of today's FA Cup third-round tie against Championship side Derby County.

"If you want to ask me if I see myself next season in Manchester United, I say I see myself (doing so) and 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, to work and improve and return the club to where the club belongs.

"And I don't see any reason not to stay. I am in the middle of my contract, and my desire is to stay until the owners and the board are happy with my work.

"Speaking about my work and connecting my work with the garbage news is to say the worst thing anyone can do to myself.

"The worst thing someone can do is put one inch of doubt into my professionalism, so yes the garbage news affected me because it's something I don't admit.

"I see myself here after three years, it's just a question of the club, the board and the owners."

Mourinho signed a three-year contract with United in May 2016, with an option to extend his stay until at least 2020.

Recent results, however, have put pressure on the Portuguese after just one win in the last five matches.

When asked if he has lost his desire after falling far behind his rival Pep Guardiola and Manchester City in the Premier League, Mourinho replied: "Because I don't behave as a clown on the touchline means I lost my passion?

"I prefer to behave the way I am doing it, much more mature, better for my team and myself, you don't have to behave like a crazy guy on the touchline to have that passion."

The 54-year-old also confirmed that he will go with a strong line-up for today's match, and that striker Romelu Lukaku is in contention to start following a head injury suffered on Dec 30 against Southampton.

"I'm going to play with a good team, a strong team with first-team players for sure," he said.

"I'm going to play this match like a Premier League match. Let's try to win it, to try and enjoy the knockouts, let's respect the competition, let's respect the opponents.

"Romelu is okay. It was not a concussion; it was a precaution, a protection for him.

"And from the injured players, (Marouane) Fellaini is back and Michael Carrick is back to training. Antonio Valencia will be back to the team next week."

REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 05, 2018, with the headline 'Mourinho rubbishes 'garbage' claims he will quit United'. Print Edition | Subscribe