Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho on Thursday put paid to the rumours that have been swirling regarding his impending exit from the Premier League club, as the Portuguese insisted he not only wants to see out his three-year contract, but stay beyond it if possible.
“I am going to leave when the club wants me to leave because I have no intention to leave at all,” Mourinho declared at the start of his press conference ahead of United’s FA Cup third round tie with Derby County.
“My intention is to stay and to work and to improve and to bring the club to where the club belongs. I want to stay. I don’t see any reason not to stay,” the two-time UEFA Champions League winner added.
The self-styled Special One’s future had been the subject of intense media speculation with the January transfer window’s opening, as the Portuguese was reportedly at loggerheads with the club’s management over their refusal to sanction a £40 million purchase of Tottenham Hotspur left-back Danny Rose.
Since taking over at United in 2016, Mourinho’s tenure has been generally seen as a success as he won the UEFA Europa League and EFL Cup in his first season with the Red Devils but their travails this season, especially in the Premier League, have seen his methods come under criticism.
For despite spending sums similar to derby rivals Manchester City, the Red Devils trail the Sky Blues by a massive 15 points at the Premier League summit and Mourinho had said the club needed to spend much more if they were expected to compete with Pep Guardiola’s side.
The above statement had worried United fans and sparked a wild frenzy for Mourinho’s three-year cycle (he usually spends no more than three years at a single club) has already been well-documented.
“Yes, I see myself. It’s just a question of the club, the owners, the board, Mr Woodward, if they are all happy with my contribution and want me to stay beyond the end of this contract. But yes, I want to stay,” Mourinho emphatically stated on the topic of extending his contract.
“The worst thing somebody can do to me is to put one inch of doubt in my professionalism, in my dedication to my club, to my job, to my players, to every detail related to my job. My commitment with the club is total and I want to stay.”
Mourinho’s subdued demeanour on the sidelines had not gone unnoticed and he was asked whether he had lost some of his desire, to which he responded: “Because I don’t behave like a clown on the touchline, it means that I lost my passion? I prefer to behave the way I am doing it. I don’t think you have to behave like a crazy guy on the touchline to have that passion. It’s the way a person is dedicated to his work, not what you do in front of the cameras.”