MANCHESTER. – Jose Mourinho has dismissed speculation he could return to Real Madrid and insisted he would like to stay at Manchester United beyond his current contract.
Mourinho has been linked with the job at the Bernabeu as a replacement for Julen Lopetegui, who has struggled since taking over in the summer. Madrid lost 2-1 at home to Levante on Saturday, a third successive defeat and only narrowly avoided a club-record goal drought.
Mourinho, who signed an extension at Old Trafford in January which could keep him at the club until 2021, is under pressure with United 10th in the English Premier League table, but the 55-year-old insists he is not thinking of heading back to Spain. “My future is here,” Mourinho told a news conference yesterday ahead of the Champions League clash with Juventus. “I have a contract and until the final days of my contract I only think about Manchester United. I would like to stay after my contract runs out as well.”
Mourinho has confirmed Alexis Sanchez will not face Juventus after missing training at Carrington yesterday morning. Marouane Fellaini, Jesse Lingard, Diogo Dalot, Scott McTominay and Phil Jones are also missing.
“The players you saw are the players that are available,” Mourinho said. “There is nothing to hide and Alexis is out.” Mourinho also took the chance to plead with Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri to give Marco Ianni a second chance following the touchline incident at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Ianni goaded Mourinho after Ross Barkley’s stoppage time equaliser – something Sarri was forced to apologise for after the game.
Phil Neville has called for Chelsea’s second assistant to be sacked but Mourinho wants Ianni to remain on Sarri’s staff. “I want to thank Sarri for his honesty, I want to thank Chelsea for its honesty, too,” Mourinho said. “But I’m not happy that it is going too far with the young boy, I don’t think he deserves more than what he got.
“He apologised to me, I accept his apologies, I think he deserves a second chance, I don’t think he deserves to be sacked. His club was strong with him and he went through a situation he recognises he was wrong.
“So I hope everybody does the same as I did which is not to disturb a career of a young guy which is probably a great guy, is probably a coach of great potential and I’m not happy with it more than that.
“It is end of story, with me, in the minutes he apologised to me. But I would really like the boy not to go through more than that. Let him work, everybody makes mistakes, I made mistakes, I hope they let the kid go.”