- Manchester United manager has a history of animosity with the Catalan
- • ‘If I focus on him and City and he on me and United someone else will win’
José Mourinho has said he will not get into personal arguments with Pep Guardiola next season when they are in charge of Manchester United and Manchester City respectively as it would mean “someone else” winning the title.
The two have a history of animosity from their time in Spain, when Mourinho was the Real Madrid manager and Guardiola in charge of Barcelona, but Mourinho has said that it would not make sense for either of them to focus on each other.
“[What has happened in the past] does not allow me to be innocent. For two years Pep and I were in a league where the champion would be either me or him, Real Madrid or Barcelona,” Mourinho said, speaking in Lisbon, where he was giving a lesson to post-graduates on football coaching.
“In a situation like this, individual fights make sense because they can influence things. [But] in the Premier League, if I focus on him and Manchester City, and he on me and Manchester United, someone else is going to win the league.”
Mourinho was confirmed as United’s new manager last week – while Guardiola was announced in February – and the Portuguese manager is now preparing for his first season in charge at Old Trafford. He is interested in signing Willian from Chelsea and is considering making a formal contract offer for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is a free agent after leaving Paris Saint-Germain.
Last week Ibrahimovic was very complimentary about Mourinho – the two worked together at Internazionale – but the Portuguese was tight-lipped when asked about whether the Swede would join him at United next season. “My good friends always rave about me,” he said with a smile.
Mourinho was also asked whether he would sign anyone from Portugal, but answered: “No, I will definitely not take anyone [from Portugal] to Old Trafford.”