Jose Mourinho could be set for a collision course with two of Manchester United’s current stars if he gets his wish to return to the club. The Portuguese manager is reportedly interested in returning for a second stint at Old Trafford, with the future of Erik ten Hag under scrutiny amid the arrival of Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
According to the Daily Mail, Mourinho believes he has ‘unfinished business’ at the club after his acrimonious departure midway through the 2018/19 campaign. ‘The Special One’ took over from Louis van Gaal in 2016, and initially tasted success by winning the League Cup and Europa League in his maiden campaign.
But despite a second-placed Premier League finish in his second season, things turned sour thereafter. And he was sacked following a run of poor form, with the problems exacerbated with high-profile fallouts with the likes of Paul Pogba.
The prospect of working under Sir Jim Ratcliffe seemingly appeals to him though, after he parted ways with Roma last month. A source close to the 61-year-old was quoted as saying: “His ambition is to return to United. He feels like he has unfinished business there after how it ended last time and he had made it his mission to go back.”
The development is unlikely to sit well with Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw though. When at United, Mourinho questioned the attitude of England forward Rashford, and reprimanded him for failing to complete a warm-down after he was subbed off in a Champions League game against Young Boys.
His treatment of Shaw however, was arguably even more brutal. Mourinho frequently criticised the left-back in public during his tenure, and after one impressive individual display, once savagely suggested the ex-Southampton man had used “his body with my brain.”
And both players were included when Mourinho called out a host of his players for being “spoiled.” Also named was Anthony Martial, who remains at the club but now appears certain to leave when his contract expires in the summer.
In another notorious rant, he told Univision: “They’re lacking maturity. When we talk about Luke Shaw, about Martial, about Lingard, about Marcus Rashford, we’re talking about boys with great potential but who still are lacking, a word I can’t say but you like to say a lot – having that (courage). They’re lacking a bit of this. In English, in the United States, people might say spoiled or spoiled kids.”
Whether Mourinho gets his wish to return to the Premier League could well depend on how the side performs between now and May. Thursday’s dramatic 4-3 win over Wolves leaves them eighth in the Premier League tables ahead of a home game with West Ham on Sunday.