Belfast Telegraph

I'm fully committed to Manchester United but I won't be here forever, says Jose Mourinho

 

By Simon Peach

Jose Mourinho has no intention of leaving Manchester United any time soon, but admits it will be an "impossible mission" to end his management career at Old Trafford.

After winning three trophies in his first season, the 54-year-old looks set to lead the club on their first genuine Premier League title charge since Sir Alex Ferguson departed.

United have been crying out for a figure like Mourinho since the Scot called time on his 27-year Old Trafford reign.

The Portuguese, synonymous with making a big impact over a short period in charge at several clubs, dismissed the possibility of ending his managerial career at United over the weekend in an interview with French television, in which he also spoke of his interest in Paris St Germain's project.

Mourinho downplayed what could be construed as public flirting ahead of tonight's Champions League Group A clash at Benfica.

"I think you (in the) English media, you have the answer for that,'' Mourinho said when asked about how he saw his future.

"Because in one day it says that I'm going to sign a five-year contract, one-billion pounds per season and then the next day you say that I'm leaving and I'm going to Paris St Germain.

"I think that's the answer - the answer is that nothing is happening. I'm not signing a new five-year contract and I'm not leaving for Paris St Germain."

It is less than 17 months since Mourinho penned a three-year deal at Old Trafford, with the option to extend until 2020.

"The only thing that I told and is true and there was not interpretation of my words is that I am not going to end my career at Manchester United," Mourinho said.

"And I ask how is it possible in modern football that any manager is going to last 15-20 years in the same club?

"I think (Arsene) Wenger is the last one. I think it is impossible for us, with everything that surrounds the job, with all the pressure that surrounds every job. I think that it's impossible to last so long."

For all the talk of the long-term, the United boss says his future is a match against the Portuguese champions that he approaches without Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick.

The lack of midfield options is a problem, and Mourinho has confirmed that Ander Herrera and former Benfica man Nemanja Matic will start at the Estadio da Luz.

There were few moments of note during the drab 0-0 draw, although Reds defender Dejan Lovren accused Romelu Lukaku of deliberately flicking a boot into his face - action that avoided retrospective action from the Football Association.

"I read something," Mourinho said. "But there's a big contradiction there because he says 'let's move on and forget what happened' but then he spends 10 minutes speaking about what he thinks happened."

Benfica vs Manchester Utd

Champions League Group A:

Estadio da Luz, Tonight, 7.45pm

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