Jose Mourinho has dismissed reports he may walk out on Manchester United this summer as “garbage”, saying he sees himself staying long-term at the Premier League giants.
The United boss was in defiant mood when quizzed about his future ahead of Friday’s FA Cup tie with Derby, with morning reports saying club officials fear he is disenchanted with life at the club.
“Look, it depends on what you want to know and what you want to speak about,” Mourinho said. “If you want to speak about some news, I say ‘garbage’. I don’t find a better word to define the talk.
“If you want to ask me directly, which I suppose you want, if I see myself next season in Manchester United, I say I see myself here. And, as I said when I arrived, 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, and to work and to improve and to bring the club to where the club belongs and I want to stay. And I don’t see any reason not to stay.”
Mourinho has looked an unhappy figure in recent weeks as United’s title bid has faltered and they suffered a shock League Cup exit at Championship side Bristol City.
There have been suggestions that Mourinho has been disappointed at the relative lack of spending power at his disposal, claims which he also denied.
And Mourinho was upset at suggestions that his decision to live in a hotel, rather than buying a home in Manchester, is a sign of a lack of professionalism or commitment to the job.
“Speaking about my work and connecting my work to the garbage news is to say that the worst thing anyone can do to myself, is not to say that I am a bad manager, is not to say that I am under-performing or that I made a mistake in this game or that game, the worst thing someone can do is put one inch of doubt about my professionalism, my dedication to my club, to my job, to my players,” he said.
“So yes, the garbage news affected me just on this aspect because it’s something I don’t admit.”
Mourinho is in early talks over a contract extension with executive vice chairman Ed Woodward and believes he will remain beyond his current deal. The basic three-year contract ends in the summer of 2019, although the club holds a one-year option to extend.
The United boss also defended himself against suggestions he may have lost his passion for the intense world of top-level football.
“Because I don’t behave as a clown, it means I’ve lost my passion?” said Mourinho
“I prefer to behave as I am, more mature, better for myself and the team. You don’t have to behave like a crazy guy. It’s not what you do in front of the cameras.”
United expect to welcome back forward Romelu Lukaku after he suffered a suspected concussion against Southampton last week for the Friday evening cup tie with Derby. AFP