Jose Mourinho: Rooney can go to China if he likes

Wayne Rooney will make his own decision as to whether to leave Manchester United for the riches of the Chinese Super League, according to club manager Jose Mourinho.

Rooney’s 250th Manchester United goal in the 1-1 draw at Stoke on Saturday saw him pass Sir Bobby Charlton as the club’s record scorer.

The 31-year-old came off the bench to help his side rescue a point, meaning half of his 16 league appearances this season have come as a substitute.

Several high-profile players have moved from Europe to play in the Chinese Super League, with Rooney being linked with a switch when his United career comes to an end.

Mourinho says there is more to come from Rooney at Old Trafford but insists his skipper has earned the right to decide where he wants to play in the future.

“I think he still has more to give us, but you reach a certain level in his career when it is up to him,” the former Chelsea manager told several national newspapers.

“Could anyone be critical with Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) last summer if he decided to go to China or the US? Could anyone be critical with one guy with such an amazing career? No, and I think with Wayne it is the same. He owns his life, he owns his career. It’s him, his family and his decision.

“I don’t like to be critical of players who decide to go to China. It’s their life, it’s their organisation of their life, their organisation of their career. The money is huge, the experience can also be very interesting.

“I know some of my colleagues think they are more important than they are and think they can interfere in the lives of other people, but I’m not that sort of guy.

“But in Wayne’s case, I have no idea. He never mentioned anything to me.

“The future belongs to him and what he wants from his career, the way he wants to end it and enjoy this last part of his career belongs to him.”

Rooney received the Football Writers’ Association Tribute Award on Sunday evening and focussed his attention on the national side rather than United, saying England will have a better chance of succeeding if the division between media and players dissipates.

“The younger players now have to understand that the media are a massive part of football,” Rooney said.

“I have seen first-hand since becoming captain of United and England, players have to realise that the media has a huge influence on the game, and especially on the young England players, they are the ones who have to go out and perform under the huge pressures.

“It is tough and I feel it is sometimes unfair, sometimes it is right, so the one thing, for me, that should happen – at this moment in time there is a huge gap between the media and the players.

“I think the quicker both media and the players need to come together and meet in the middle, the better it will be for English football.”


Jose Mourinho: Wayne Rooney can leave Manchester United for China

Jose Mourinho would not stop Wayne Rooney securing a big-money move away from Manchester United to China.

The Portuguese coach admitted that the fees on offer were difficult to turn down and also accepted that players could be keen on a move to the Far East for cultural reasons.

Quizzed on whether Rooney would leave for the Chinese Super League, after he had become Manchester United’s top goalscorer with a record-breaking 250th goal to snatch a draw against Stoke, Mourinho refused to rule out his exit.

And with Guangzhou Evergrande and Beijing Guoan willing to spend £700,000-a-week on the England captain, Mourinho would not be surprised if he went on his way and will allow Rooney to make the decision.

‘I don’t know, it’s up to him,’ he said.

‘I don’t like to be critical of players who decide to go to China. It’s their life, it’s their organisation of their life, their organisation of their career.

‘The money is huge. The experience can also be interesting.

‘I know some of my colleague think they are more important than they are and think they can interfere in the lives of other people but I am not that sort of person.

‘Everybody is responsible for their own life. I’m not critical with anyone.

‘To be honest, in Wayne’s case, I have no idea because he has never mentioned it to me.’

Jose Mourinho: Rooney now a Manchester United legend

The Red Devils boss paid tribute to his captain after he became the club’s record goalscorer on Saturday, in the club’s 1-1 draw with Stoke.

Jose Mourinho described Wayne Rooney as “a legend of Manchester United” after his last-gasp equaliser against Stoke City saw him break the club’s goalscoring record.

The 31-year-old swept in a brilliant free-kick with seconds remaining at the bet365 Stadium to move onto 250 goals in 546 appearances – one more than former record-holder Bobby Charlton.

And Mourinho praised his captain for claiming a place in the history of both the club and the global game.

“The record is the record,” he told Sky Sports after the 1-1 draw. “It is the record of the biggest club in England and one of the biggest in the world. “Before him the record belonged to a legend of English football. Now Wayne becomes a legend of Manchester United.”

Stoke boss Mark Hughes, twice a Premier League-winner in a distinguished United playing career, believes Rooney can now set a record that will never be broken.

“It is an outstanding record and won’t be surpassed,” he told BBC Sport. “It has taken 40-odd years for Sir Bobby’s record to be broken which shows how high a mark it was.”

Rooney’s goal came in the fourth minute of injury time to salvage a point after Juan Mata’s first-half own goal looked to have handed Stoke the win.

Mourinho was frustrated that his side did not do better with the chances they created but credited Stoke for a well-organised defensive approach.

“It was a big game with two teams in the beginning trying to win,” he said. “But after 25 minutes one team tried to win and the other tried to defend, which they did amazingly well. They showed great work rate and did everything to try and stop us.

“We did everything well except in front of our target. We missed unbelievable chances. We hit the post, the keeper saves, we miss chances and we have another draw. We have too many draws for the attacking play we produce. Opposition goalkeepers are always amazing against us.”

Hughes felt a little aggrieved at the amount of injury time added by referee Mark Clattenburg but praised his side’s resilience during long spells of United pressure.

“I didn’t feel there was five minutes added on but that gave them enough time to get something out of the game,” he said. “We are disappointed but we need to pick ourselves up. We were within seconds of beating a very good Manchester United team.

“My only criticism to the guys is that we didn’t keep the ball long enough. We are good enough to do that but we needed more care to get up the other end of the pitch. But fair play to Man United: they put on attacking players and made it hard for us to get out.

“In the end we tried to protect what we had and I can’t criticise what we did for the free-kick.”

Jose Mourinho reveals the reason why Luke Shaw is not playing

Jose Mourinho has insists Luke Shaw is not in the Manchester United squad because he is not fit enough to play.

The full-back has played just 13 times this season and has not been named in a matchday squad since November.

Reports have been circulating that Mourinho is ready to sell Shaw amid concerns about his fitness and the United boss admitted the defender was going through a rough patch at the club.

‘Of course, that’s basic,’ said Mourinho when asked if it was injuries that were preventing Shaw from playing.

‘You try to have in the squad the players with more minutes, the players in better shape, the players in better conditions.

‘And, in Luke Shaw’s case, even in the game where he was ready to play and to start the game and to have again 90 minutes against Reading [in the FA Cup], on the morning of the game he was ill and not ready to play.

‘So, even in that match that could be a good match for him to be back, he was not able to, so he’s having a difficult period.’

Shaw has been publicly criticised by Mourinho for his fitness this season while the player’s agent hit out at reports linking the 21-year-old with a move away from Old Trafford.

United have yet to see Shaw’s full potential with the left-back’s Red Devils career seriously interrupted when he broke his leg.

Jose Mourinho explains Klopp confrontation

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho had mixed emotions after a draw with Liverpool that saw him feud with Jurgen Klopp.

Jose Mourinho says Jurgen Klopp got the wrong end of the stick when the two managers confronted each other on the touchline at Old Trafford.

The Manchester United and Liverpool managers went head-to-head in stoppage-time of the 1-1 Premier League draw after Ander Herrera had clashed with Roberto Firmino.

Both players were booked after Herrera fouled Firmino, prompting a reactionary shove from the Liverpool forward.

Mourinho revealed Klopp had wrongly thought he was calling for a Liverpool red card prior to the two bosses having to be separated.

“He thought I was asking for his player to be sent off,” Mourinho said at his post-match media conference.

“I wasn’t, so no problem at all.

“I think the game was correct, I think the players gave everything in an emotional way, professional way.

“I think the referee managed very well that part of the game. So I think the game was a great publicity for the Premier League all around the world.”

The match saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic head an equaliser six minutes from time, cancelling out a first-half James Milner penalty that was awarded for handball against Paul Pogba.

Mourinho conceded the decision was probably accurate, but could not resist another dig at some of the officiating his side have received this season.

He added: “I didn’t watch but the referee was very close so it probably is a penalty.

“The problem is the criteria. Sometimes you give them. Sometimes you don’t. It’s amazing that in 21 Premier League matches, three in the League Cup and one in the FA Cup – 25 matches – we had one penalty.

“Even Michael Oliver told me at the end of the game, ‘This time it was a penalty!’ It looks like it was a penalty.

“We can do, and have done, much better this season in terms of the quality of our game, but I think Liverpool can do better than what they did too.

“As a proper derby it had everything. It’s good to see that Liverpool also can play defensively and on the counter-attack they were always dangerous.”

UEFA names 10 greatest managers of all time… Mourinho in, but no Guardiola

Jose Mourinho, Sir Alex Ferguson and Brian Clough are all included but the Manchester City boss was unable to make his way onto the list.

UEFA has published its list of the top 10 coaches in the history of football, including Jose Mourinho but leaving out Pep Guardiola.

The Manchester United manager finds himself on the illustrious shortlist after his success in charge of Porto, Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid.

The self-dubbed ‘Special One’ led the former to an unlikely Champions League triumph in 2004, before winning a trio of Premier League titles at the Blues across two seperate spells.

Mourinho lifted his second Champions League trophy in charge of Inter, before clinching a La Liga title at Madrid.

However, ex-Barcelona coach Guardiola has not been included despite his success at Camp Nou.

The current Manchester City boss initiated a wave of success when he first took over at Barcelona, leading them to three La Liga titles and winning the Champions League twice.

Guardiola then moved to Bayern Munich and clinched three Bundesliga titles, though his achievements have not landed him among UEFA’s final consideration.

It is Mourinho alone, then, who joins Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson, with the Scot leading the Old Trafford side for 28 years and winning the Premier League a remarkable 13 times along with two Champions League titles.

Rinus Michels – widely acknowledged as the inventor of Total Football in charge of Ajax, Barcelona and the Netherlands during the 1970s and FIFA’s Coach of the Century – is present alongside Helenio Herrera, who utilised Catenaccio to great effect at Inter.

Johan Cruyff, who built on Michels’ legacy at the same clubs, is joined by author of the original underdog story, Brian Clough, recognised for leading unfancied Nottingham Forest to consecutive European Cup triumphs in 1979 and 1980.

Vicente del Bosque is in for his success at Real Madrid and then Spain – whom he led to their first World Cup triumph in 2010 and then a successful defence of their European championships crown in 2012.

Bayern Munich icon Udo Lattek, Valeri Lobanovskiy and AC Milan hero Arrigo Sacchi complete the list.

Jose Mourinho confident Zlatan Ibrahimovic will return against Liverpool

Jose Mourinho is confident that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be available for Manchester United’s clash with Liverpool on Sunday.

The 35-year-old was rested for Saturday’s 4-0 win over Reading in the FA Cup third round but was expected to return for Tuesday’s EFL Cup semi-final first leg against Hull City.

But before the game, United confirmed that the Swede was missing from Mourinho’s matchday squad due to illness.

And when asked if he felt the illness will keep Ibrahimovic out of the key fixture against Liverpool, Mourinho told BT Sport: ‘I don’t think so.’

Jose Mourinho: How I have changed my style at United

Manchester United have not been in either “heaven or hell” this season in Jose Mourinho’s eyes – though he believes his team bonded in the face of adversity during their indifferent start.

An FA Cup clash with Reading on Saturday presents an opportunity for United to win an eighth consecutive fixture, something they have not achieved since the 2009-10 season, with the club appearing to have rediscovered some of their old swagger.

That was not the case when Mourinho first arrived at Old Trafford as they lost three successive games in September, were beaten 4-0 at Chelsea and drew four games in a row at home.

Before their current 13-game unbeaten run, Mourinho’s start was compared unfavourably to his immediate predecessors David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, yet the Portuguese was confident the results would change for the better and insists such a turnaround was possible because everyone shared his belief.

“We knew that playing the way we were playing, the good results would follow sooner or later,” Mourinho said.

“So we had draw, draw, draw, draw; big distance to the top four, but we were playing well, so there was nothing to change at all. We were very patient and stable, and we were not in hell, and in this moment we are stable again and we are not in heaven; we keep working. So I think this stability is the most important factor for us.”

Throughout his career, Mourinho has been used to immediate success. He won titles at the first attempt with Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan, and was a league champion in his second year with Real Madrid and in the second term of his second stint with Chelsea.

However, while United are currently only sixth in the Premier League table, Mourinho believes he has already established a strong relationship with his players because of the trust fostered through their tricky spell.

“This is different than other places because it’s a place where it took more time to go into a winning period,” he added.

“We built that relationship based not on good results but based on bad results and this is the big difference. When you have at the beginning (of the season), a run of two or three months winning, winning, winning, it’s paradise. Everybody is friendly with everybody, everybody hugs everybody and everybody kisses everybody.

“But when you have bad results there is normally a tendency for that to be delayed and sometimes things even degenerate and there is no way back. But we were calm, we were positive, nobody was against anybody.

“I was trusting the players and the players were trusting me. The board always told me you were here for three years, keep doing your job, no bad results will change our idea of having you here for a long time.

“So everything was based on a difficult moment of bad results and looking at the other teams going up and being miles away from us. So I think this (relationship) can last a long time because it wasn’t based on good results, it was based on reality, what we saw day to day.”

Even during their lull, United’s fanbase, frustrated by Van Gaal’s approach in previous years, welcomed Mourinho’s stylistic approach and the Portuguese thinks his current team’s form is as good as anything he has presided over in his managerial career.

“I had lots of winning teams, we won in every club but we didn’t have many teams playing so well as my Man United team does,” he said.

“But my teams normally are pragmatic and they win matches normally when it is hard to be dominated. The reality – and for me, its very important – is this kind of relation between the way we want to play and the way the fans want the team to play and I always felt that.”

Jose Mourinho: Something is wrong if De Gea continues to be Manchester United Best player

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho hopes David De Gea will not be voted the club’s player of the season this time around.

Jose Mourinho feels it would be a bad sign if David de Gea were to win Manchester United’s Player of the Year award for a fourth successive season.

The Spain international claimed the individual trophy in 2014, 2015 and 2016 to become the second player after Cristiano Ronaldo to win it three times.

Mourinho is pleased to see a goalkeeper get recognition for fine performances, but believes a fourth consecutive victory for De Gea would suggest the club are too often in trouble defensively.

“I think when a goalkeeper is the player of the season it is because something is wrong,” Mourinho told reporters.

“Hopefully, David is not our Player of the Year again this season, but hopefully he keeps making important saves for us like he did in the last match.

“Of course, I would love goalkeepers to be recognised. I would like them to win the Golden Ball [Ballon d’Or] and I would like them to be the player of the season in the Premier League because goalkeepers are these lonely guys with a different shirt to everyone else.

“When they play phenomenally, people forget, and when they make a mistake, everyone remembers.

“But the reality is that when season after season the goalkeeper is player of the season, it means that something is wrong.”

Jose Mourinho: Manchester United not in heaven despite good run

The Red Devils had a rough start to the season but are currently in fine form, but the Portuguese coach is not getting carried away.

Jose Mourinho has stressed Manchester United always remained calm after their underwhelming start to the season and are not getting carried away by their good run of form.

Mourinho confirms January deal for Lindelof is off

The Old Trafford side initially struggled to get going under Mourinho, but they are currently on a 13-game unbeaten streak in all competitions, winning their last seven.

However, United currently sit 10 points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea, but the manager insists they are not “in heaven” yet.

“When you have a run of two or three months winning, winning, winning at the beginning it is paradise,” Mourinho told reporters.

“Everybody is friendly with everybody. Everybody hugs everybody and everybody kisses everybody.

“When you have bad results there is normally a tendency for that to be delayed and sometimes things even degenerate and there is no way back.

“But we were calm, we were not in hell and in this moment we are stable again and we are not in heaven.”

And Mourinho insists he has felt no pressure from the board throughout their inconsistent start, stating he has been given time to get the team back to the top of English football.

“The board always told me ‘you are here for three years, keep doing your job, no bad results will change our idea of having you here for a long time’.

“I think this relationship can last a long time because it was not based on good results, it was based on reality, what we saw day to day.”

United will be looking to extend their hot streak when they take on Reading in the FA Cup on Saturday, before they take on Hull City on Tuesday and hosting Liverpool at Old Trafford a few days later.