There's an interesting, if perhaps far fetched, story growing in Spain about Jose Mourinho falling into shock when he found out about Manchester United appointing David Moyes as manager. He felt cheated by Sir Alex Ferguson who he considers to be a close friend. Mourinho has said that he was one of the first people to know of Ferguson's retirement months in advance, which is also unbelievable but that doesn't necessarily add weight to these claims.
Spanish journalist Diego Torres has given an an extract from the first chapter of his new book to El Pais and he starts by explaining Mourinho's unhappiness at Real Madrid, which was largely put down to players like Iker Casillas causing all the trouble they possibly could. Torres claims that when the rumours started on May 7th about Ferguson retiring it led to Mourinho's most miserable hours as Real Madrid manager.
Mourinho had arrived at Madrid's Sheraton Mirasierra without the team, choosing to travel to the hotel on his own after the latest stories in the press about him falling out with players. Real Madrid use the hotel to stay in before home games and it's where Gareth Bale currently calls home. The Portuguese manager was sick of his players according to Torres but his mood will have been brightened by some ultra fans who turned up at the same time as the team with a banner saying they loved 'Mou' and shouting obscenities to Iker Casillas.
'The climate at the Sheraton was gloomy that night when contradictory rumors began circulating from England on the exit of Ferguson. The online pages of the 'Mirror' and 'Sun' offered a disturbing picture. The Portuguese was sure that Sir Alex, if he took a decision, would call, at least to tell him. But nothing.
According to people who work in support for Gestifute (Mourinho's agents), he did not receive a text message... He was making calls until dawn to try to confirm the details with journalists and British friends. Mendes (His agent) immediately knew but did not dare to tell him the truth.'
It's claimed that Jorge Mendes was aware Mourinho didn't stand a chance in the running for the Manchester United job but didn't want to tell him. Mourinho was allegedly tormented by what Bobby Charlton had said the previous December about his altercation with Tito Vilanova, that a Manchester United manager would never behave in such a way.
Torres says that Mourinho tried to cling on to hope that Sir Alex Ferguson would pick him and that Charlton's influence would come to nothing, but even his Scottish friend had deserted him. The journalist says that in a last desperate attempt Mourinho got Mendes to contact Manchester United on the morning of the 8th to see what was going on, but again Mendes knew it would be to no avail. Mourinho's latest very public spats had come too close to the end of Ferguson's reign and his own behaviour had counted him out of the job.
Mourinho felt he'd been taken for a fool, explained Torres, that Ferguson had cheated him into believing they had some kind of special friendship and that he'd be kept in the loop. Mourinho went on the attack and Gestifute (His agents) contacted Portuguese newspaper Record and got them to run a story saying that he'd never wanted the job anyway because of family reasons, despite Ferguson personally offering it to him. A story along those lines did appear in the newspaper that week.
Record said that Ferguson had personally picked out Mourinho and offered him a five year contract, only to be told that he wouldn't be taking the job. They even claimed that Manchester United had offered to allow Mourinho to live in London and provide a daily helicopter so he could commute, which doesn't sound entirely believable. Record often print stories about clients of Gestifute, such as them repeatedly claiming Manchester United had agreed a deal to sign Ezequiel Garay from Benfica.
Mourinho himself spoke to Sky and claimed that Ferguson had kept him in the loop but knew he wanted to take another job. Torres says the contradictions were not planned, but made in the rush for Mourinho to regain some ground.
Torres says that Mourinho was a shell for his remaining time with Real Madrid and just appeared at the edges like some sort of lunatic, with one player calling him a hologram. His eyes were apparently sunken and he was a shadow of his former self. From a position of power with Real Madrid, thinking that the Manchester United job was his for the taking, he'd been left with only the option of a return to Roman Abramovich which would be on the Russian's terms.
How much of this story from Diego Torres is true is anyone's guess, but it certainly makes an entertaining read. Torres is close to Real Madrid if his previous articles are anything to go by and this could be yet another chance to give Mourinho a kicking. Chelsea fans will choose not to believe a word of what Torres has had to say and Manchester United supporters will probably lap it up.
It's probably worth mentioning that just over a week ago Diego Torres claimed that Manchester United had put forward a proposal which would have seen Ronaldo receive a contract of €17m (which will be net, figures quoted in Spain are) plus a signing-on fee of €50m. The €50m was to be paid because Ronaldo would have been free from Real Madrid, having seen out his contract. Torres puts the figures PSG were willing to pay at €20m salary and €80m signing on fee. Those figures were based on the player running down his Real Madrid contract, he'd have been 30 years old by that time.
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