Did Mourinho really turn down United in favour of Chelsea?

Last updated : 19 June 2013 By Ed

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho claims he knew months ago of Sir Alex Ferguson's plans to stand down as Manchester United boss, but says he was always intent on returning to his home, Stamford Bridge.

Maybe an alternative headline is "New Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was never considered to replace Sir Alex Ferguson due to his controversial background and big-budget management style."


Mourinho becomes the tenth new manager during the reign of Abramovich, and there is nothing to suggest based on either of their track records that number eleven isn't that far away. Such a possibility may even grow in parallel to an unsuccessful tenure by David Moyes, bringing the paths of Mourniho and United on crash course yet again in the eyes of the public.

Mourinho said: "I knew that Ferguson was retiring many months ago. I would have turned down every job in the world - the Manchester United job, every one - for Chelsea."

Having signed a four-year deal at Chelsea, Mourinho, 50, was seen by many as Sir Alex Ferguson's most likely, if not natural, successor. Despite this public perception Mourinho insists he was only interested in a return to Chelsea - despite being told of Ferguson's plans.

"I am so happy with Ferguson's trust because it was big news for the world - I can imagine that just a very small circle around him knew that, and it was a big responsibility for me to know that," he said.

"Why do I know that? Because we are friends, so if I am his friend to know that he is going to retire, he is also my friend to know that the club I want to coach in England is Chelsea.

"Of course I told him I want to come to Chelsea. I would turn down every job in the world for Chelsea."

This revelation will surprise many, especially after the seemingly uncomfortable "come-and-get-me" style interview performed by Mourinho after Real Madrid knocked Manchester United out of The Champions League in controversial circumstances.

One thing is for sure, Mourinho's ego will do everything possible to distance himself from any form of speculation that suggests he was not offered or even considered for the position.