Connect with us


Jose Mourinho admits he must focus on the Premier League and not his rivalry with Pep Guardiola




The pair had an intense rivalry for a two-season spell in Spain when Mourinho was in charge of Real Madrid and Guardiola was manager of Barcelona.

They each won La Liga title once in that period and faced each 11 times in all competitions – with Real collecting six red cards.

But Mourinho, who poked Guardiola’s assistant Tito Vilanova in the eye in one touch line bust-up, says the greater competition in the English top flight means they cannot afford to be absorbed with each other.

“My experience does not allow me to be innocent,” he said. “I was with Guardiola two years in a league where me or him would be champion. In England, if I focus on him or he on me, the champion will be another [coach].”

Mourinho has ruled out the possibility of signing any Portuguese players during the summer transfer window.

United have been linked with Jaoa Maria and Andre Gomes while they scouted Renato Sanches on a regular basis before his surprise move to Bayern Munich.

But Mourinho, speaking at a university lecture in Lisbon, said: “I won’t be signing any player from Portugal.”

After giving his blessing to the new contracts for two of United’s youngsters, Marcus Rashford and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Mourinho will now give the green light to the offer of a year’s extension to long-serving midfielder Michael Carrick.

Carrick, 35 next month, is out of contract this summer but Mourinho is aware he is a hugely popular and influential figure in the dressing room and still one of the club’s best midfielders.

Another Academy graduate Tim Fosu-Mensah could be the next young player to be handed a new long-term deal, similar to the ones signed by Rashford and Borthwick-Jackson.

Daley Blind has vowed to convince Mourinho he is good enough to be part of his plans at Old Trafford. There have been suggestions United’s new boss considers the Holland defender too small and too slow to be one of his centre backs.

But Blind said: “I am looking forward to working with Mourinho. We will have to wait and see whether anything changes for me. I will just give my all and work hard. Mourinho is a manager who has achieved a lot and I am keen to work with him.

“I might not be as big as Pepe [one of Mourinho’s defenders at Real Madrid] but I think I have shown in the Premier League that I can hold my own defensively. We conceded the fewest goals in the Premier League and I think we kept the most clean sheets.

“That’s something to be proud of. I played nearly every game and that is a good feeling. You might be looking for a certain statement, but I will just give my all under Mourinho.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *