The start of the Premier League season is still a few weeks away, but it looks like José Mourinho is already gearing up for a new rivalry. The Chelsea manager practically lives for this sort of thing, thriving on drama and tension as a background to the game on the pitch.
Despite reportedly being friends with Louis van Gaal, Mourinho seems to realize the new manager has the potential to bring Manchester United back to the top of the league, and is already finding reasons to criticize the club publicly.
Yesterday, Mourinho spoke about Luke Shaw. The manager said that Chelsea had been interested, but were put off by the 19-year-old’s wage demands. Shaw eventually signed with United for around £27m (~$46m), and his weekly wages are between £100,000 and £130,000 (~$170,000 to $220,000) — depending on which Guardian report you believe.
Either way, Shaw is making a huge amount of money for a teenager, particularly considering he’s really had just one successful season in the Premier League. There’s no denying his talent, but perhaps Mourinho has a point when he discusses how allocating such high wages to a young player might have disrupted Chelsea’s team dynamic:
They would have been saying, ‘How is it possible I play 200 games for this club, won this and that, yet a 19-year-old comes here and gets more money than I get?’ It would’ve killed immediately our balance and we couldn’t allow that. I don’t criticise another club for paying it. They can pay what they want. I don’t have any comment about it. But for my club we can say it would be very negative for us, especially when we can say Felipe is much less expensive. Sometimes you have to make decisions.
When asked for a response to Mourinho’s thoughts on Shaw, van Gaal stated that he doesn’t believe in discussing such things with the media. Instead, he’ll discuss it with Mourinho himself.
Could we be in for some off-the-field drama between these two this season?