Belfast Telegraph

Jose Mourinho denies claim he met with Arsenal before taking Tottenham job

The Gunners are without a boss after Unai Emery’s sacking.

Jose Mourinho, left, said he had no contact over replacing Unai Emery, right, at Arsenal (Martin Rickett/PA)
Jose Mourinho, left, said he had no contact over replacing Unai Emery, right, at Arsenal (Martin Rickett/PA)

By Jonathan Veal, PA

New Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has revealed he had no contact with Arsenal over becoming their new manager.

Mourinho is less than a fortnight into his job as Mauricio Pochettino’s replacement, but he was previously linked with the position at the Emirates Stadium.

Unai Emery was still occupying it at the time but he has since paid for a poor start to the season and was sacked on Friday.

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Unai Emery was sacked on Friday morning (Nigel French/PA)

Mourinho said there was no truth in reports he had met with the Gunners’ head of football Raul Sanllehi.

Asked whether there had been contact, he replied: “No, no. Of course, I never denied, because I never deny things.

“But when it was written that I was in a meeting with Mr Sanllehi it was not true.”

Mourinho has been unrelenting in his praise of Spurs and said, even after just 10 days in the job, no other club would be able to tempt him away.

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Jose Mourinho is enjoying life at Tottenham (Adam Davy/PA)

He believes he is working in the best facilities in the game and likes the close-knit environment of the club’s Hotspur Way training ground.

On why he is so content in his new job, he said: “You know how much I like the Premier League, that’s the first point.

“The second point is this club. You know what the club is showing me.

“The vision they have for the future and everything they are as a club in terms of structure organisation, feelings, a big club but with a concept of a family, working together with people.

“See them everyday. Everybody is around me. Mr Levy (chairman, Daniel) is next door to me, his office is next door to me.

“Everyday I need him he is there. He needs me, I’m there. Then the chief scout (is) the next door. I meet him every day. If I want to speak he’s there.

“If he wants to speak with me, I’m here. The academy boss three doors (down).

“Everything is close. We arrive here early in the morning, we leave late in the afternoon.

“I like very much this kind of empathy and the way we are working. And, again, very, very important, I like the players. Very important.”

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Jose Mourinho, left, has been speaking about his predecessor Mauricio Pochettino, right (Nick Potts/PA)

Instead of managing the Gunners, they are one of the clubs he is looking forward to coming up against – even in the unlikely event they are managed by Pochettino.

“I never played against Pochettino in my life,” Mourinho said. “Never. Man United against Tottenham, yes. Tottenham against Chelsea, yes. But never me against Pochettino.

“So if he goes to Arsenal or if he goes to, I don’t know which club, it will never be me against him. It will be me against his club.

“So yes, I look forward to playing against Arsenal. I want to play against Arsenal. I know what it means for our fans. But with Mauricio or Emery or (Freddie) Ljungberg or whoever else that’s no problem.

“I know the big ones and I know that’s a big one. Not just because Arsenal is a big club that fights for the same objectives as we do. But also I know the meaning. And I like it.”

PA

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