Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho insists he has laid the foundations for a trophy-laden period in the club’s history after committing to an Old Trafford future by signing a contract extension.
Former Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid manager Mourinho’s new deal will run until 2020, an extension of 12 months to his existing United contract, with the option of a further year to 2021.
Mourinho guided United to League Cup and Europa League success during his first season in charge, while the Red Devils are firmly in the hunt for Champions League qualification this term, but trail Premier League leaders Manchester City by 12 points.
Questions had been raised over the Portuguese’s commitment given his decision to live out of a hotel rather than more permanent accommodation, although his talk is of a long-term vision for the 20-time top-flight champions.
“We have set very high standards – winning three trophies [including the Community Shield] in one season – but those are the standards I expect my teams to aim for,” said Mourinho.
“We are creating the conditions for a brilliant and successful future for Manchester United. I am delighted they feel that I am the right manager for this great club for the foreseeable future.”
Mourinho, meanwhile, confirmed that new signing Alexis Sanchez will go straight into the Untied squad for tonight’s FA Cup fourth-round clash at League Two Yeovil.
He described the 29-year-old as “one of the best attacking players in the world” and could not resist a dig at Arsenal and old adversary Arsene Wenger, who acquired Armenia captain Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the swap deal with Sanchez.
“The deal is good for everybody,” added Mourinho. “I lost a fantastic player, so did Mr Wenger. Mkhi has gone to a fantastic club and Alexis changed from a fantastic club to a giant club.”
One player Mourinho was more reticent to discuss was former United forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been linked with a return to Old Trafford in the summer from struggling La Liga outfit Real Madrid.
“I think I should be the last one to add some fuel to the fire,” said Mourinho.
“Madrid is on fire. The results are not good, and it’s a club where I worked for three years. I care about the club. So to put some water on the fire I think Cristiano is the kind of player that every manager wants, every club wants. But only one manager can, only one club can have – [Zinedine] Zidane and Real Madrid.”