With fire in his belly, Mourinho guns for top-flight return

Jose Mourinho insisted he is not happy with his sabbatical and is aiming to manage a top-flight club in either England, Spain, Italy, Germany or France.
Jose Mourinho insisted he is not happy with his sabbatical and is aiming to manage a top-flight club in either England, Spain, Italy, Germany or France.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has said he is still "full of fire" and desperate to return to top-club management in the near future.

The Portuguese, who was sacked by the Red Devils last December, insisted he is not happy with his sabbatical and is aiming to manage a top-flight club in either England, Spain, Italy, Germany or France.

In an interview with Sky Sports News, the 56-year-old said: "I have some time to think, to rethink, to analyse and what I feel is exactly that I'm full of fire.

"My friends tell me: 'Enjoy your time, enjoy your July, enjoy your August, enjoy what you never had'. Honestly, I can't enjoy. I am not happy enough to enjoy.

"I miss my football, I have the fire. But I have to be patient and wait for the right one.

"That is the most difficult thing because I had the impulse during this period so many times to say: 'Yes, I go'. No, I cannot go. I have to wait exactly for the right one."

Mourinho, who has won 20 major trophies, had reportedly turned down a massive €100 million (S$152.8 million) offer earlier this month to manage Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande as he did not want to move to China owing to family reasons.

The proposed three-year deal was said to be worth €30 million annually with another €10 million in bonuses.

When asked if it would still have to be one of the "big five" European leagues where he sees himself managing next, he said: "Yes."

He added: "If you tell me a club in another country, to fight to be champion, to build something special, to bring that club in that country to a different level - maybe, who knows.

"But my focus is on the biggest ones."

While he awaits the big European clubs, he also hinted that he may consider managing an international side in the future, saying: "One day maybe, if not Portugal, then it could be another country.

"Because when I go to the World Cups, the Euros, when I am there in the centre of that event, I have the feeling one day I want to do it.

"Maybe one day - and, if it is Portugal, obviously, I would be very proud."

DPA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 31, 2019, with the headline 'With fire in his belly, Mourinho guns for top-flight return'. Print Edition | Subscribe