• Monday, May 27, 2024
businessday logo


Mourinho rubbishes Man United return claims, backs Ratcliffe takeover

Jose Mourinho-United

Jose Mourinho has quashed rumours suggesting he has ‘unfinished business’ at Manchester United, insisting he has no plans to return to the club as manager.

Mourinho, who recently left Italian outfit Roma, served as Man United’s boss between May 2016 and December 2018. He won three trophies during his tenure and achieved a second-placed finish in the Premier League in 2017/18.

United appointed the decorated Portuguese chief as Louis van Gaal’s successor in the hope he would be able to take the club back to the top of English football. He was sacked after two years into his tenure and was replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who initially took charge on an interim basis.

Though the three-time Premier League winner left Old Trafford more than five years ago, he has often been linked with the prospect of returning to the club. Those claims resurfaced just a couple of weeks ago and as the Manchester Evening News reported, there was little credibility to them. Now, Mourinho himself has poured cold water on those suggestions, speaking to Rio Ferdinand in an exclusive interview.

Asked if he has ‘unfinished business’ at United, Mourinho, appearing on FIVE, said: “No, no, no, no.”

Ferdinand responded, saying: “Another myth busted.”

Mourinho has been out of work for exactly a month, being axed by Roma on January 16. Though most managers welcome a small break, the former United boss is eager to take on a fresh challenge.

“If I can work tomorrow, I’d work tomorrow,” he continued. “I don’t enjoy any day without work.

“I don’t understand people that speak about sabbatical time, as sabbatical time gives me only one thing – depression. I need to be patient and wait for the right opportunity.”

Meanwhile, the 61-year-old has admitted he has high hopes that INEOS and Sir Jim Ratcliffe can bring the good times back to Old Trafford. Ratcliffe, who Mourinho says he knows ‘very well’, is on the cusp of finalising his 25 per cent stake in the club, with regulatory approval from the Premier League and the Football Association coming earlier this week.

Mourinho added: “For sure, lots of things have changed [since I left]. Honestly, I believe that Richard Arnold had to change for the better because I always thought he was a proper guy with a good understanding of what sport is, though he was not a football man.

“I liked him very, very much, even when he was in the commercial role in my time. For sure, they have improved.

“I know Sir Jim Ratcliffe. I know him very well, we had a good relationship from years ago and I have a very, very good feeling. He is also a sportsman and he loves it, which I think is a very important thing.

“He comes with experience from other experiences; smaller clubs; other sports; cycling. I have a good feeling that things can go in the right direction, and I hope so.”