Jose Mourinho is sticking around at Manchester United.
[ MORE: Mourinho on Sanchez, Ronaldo ]
The Red Devils boss signed a new contract extension on Thursday which keeps him in charge of United until at least the summer of 2020, with an option for a further year.
Speaking to United’s website about his contract extension, Mourinho was delighted.
“I am really honored and proud to be Manchester United manager. I would like to say a big thank you to the owners and to Mr Woodward for the recognition of my hard work and dedication,” Mourinho said. “I am delighted they feel and trust that I am the right manager for this great club for the foreseeable future. We have set very high standards – winning three trophies in one season – but those are the standards I expect my teams to aim for. We are creating the conditions for a brilliant and successful future for Manchester United.
“My thanks, of course, go to my staff and to my players; without their empathy and friendship this wouldn’t be possible. I love my players and it is a pleasure to know that we are going to be together for at least the next three years. And I cannot finish without thanking the fans for their support and for making me feel at home so quickly. I repeat, to be Manchester United manager is an honor every day and I am really happy.”
Mourinho seemed very chipper in his press conference earlier on Thursday ahead of United’s trip to face Yeovil Town in the FA Cup. Now we know why.
The Portuguese boss only signed an initial three-year deal which ran until the summer of 2019, but he has now signed at least a one-year extension and he it certainly seems like he’s planning to stay around at United much longer than his usual three-year stint at each club he has previously been at.
After guiding United back to the UEFA Champions League in his debut campaign in charge at Old Trafford (via winning the Europa League) Mourinho also picked up the League Cup in 2016-17 and has United in the last 16 of the UCL this season and in second place in the Premier League.
It appears Alexis Sanchez’s arrival at United could have been a key factor in Mourinho committing his future to the club and it’s actually somewhat surprising he hasn’t signed a longer deal given the glowing praise from executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
“Jose has already achieved a great deal as Manchester United manager and I am delighted that he has agreed to extend his commitment until at least 2020,” Woodward said. “His work rate and professionalism are exceptional and he has embraced the club’s desire to promote top quality young players to the first team. He has brought an energy and a sense of purpose to everything that he does and I am sure that will continue to bring results for the fans and the club.”
We know that Mourinho often gets his best results in his second seasons at clubs, but given Man City’s dominance of the PL so far this season, it appears this rebuild of United will take a little longer.
Backed financially by the club since he arrived in the summer of 2016, Mourinho has bought the likes of Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Sanchez to Old Trafford, plus added key members in Eric Bailly and Nemanja Matic. This is now truly his team.
It appears the Red Devils are going all in on Mourinho despite lingering concerns among some supporters that the style of play isn’t as entertaining as Manchester City and other PL clubs such as Liverpool and Tottenham.
At the end of the day, Mourinho’s record of winning trophies at every club he’s been at speaks for itself and now he will get the chance to create his own legacy at United.