José Mourinho has been formally introduced as Manchester United manager, giving a full press conference at Old Trafford. He revealed a little more than had been expected, revealing, among other things, that a third player — presumed to be Henrikh Mkhitaryan — is on the brink of being made official, that a fourth signing will follow before before deadline day, and that Wayne Rooney will not be used in a deep midfield role while Mourinho is in charge. We've transcribed full quotes (or as close as our fingers would carry us) and pasted them below:
Once the Special One, then the Happy One, Mourinho was first asked which One he was now:
"I don't know. The other two times I was arriving at the country; this is a different one. I was sacked by Chelsea and am staying in the same country, the same competition. It is nothing new for me. I am arriving at a club that is difficult to describe; I do not like the denomination ‘dream job' — this is reality: I am Manchester United manager. I think this is a job many people want, and not many have the chance to have. I know the responsibility, the expectation, the legacy; I know what is behind me, the history of this club; I know what the fans expect from me, and this challenge comes in the right moment of my career. I feel very well prepared, very stable, and with a great motivation. I want to be in this club, in this country.
"I feel a bit frustrated we are not playing Champions League. I do not hide that I am chasing Alex Ferguson's record as Champions League matches as manager; hopefully it is only one season that we are not there. Manchester United is a Champions League club, and we must make sure July 2017, instead of waiting for the Europa League playoffs, we have to make sure this club is where is has to be, the Champions League."
When asked his aims for the season, Mourinho was unequivocal on his desire to compete for the title:
"It depends on the way you want to face it. I was never very good hiding behind words and philosophies, in fact, I never tried to be good at that; I was always more aggressive with the risks. It would be easy and pragmatic on my side to focus on the last three years, on the fact that we don't qualify for the Champions League and so on, and to say ‘lets work to try to be back to the Champions League and try to do well in the Europa League'. I am not good on that; I prefer to be more aggressive and to say that we want to win.
"Probably I can anticipate that one of you would come later with a question about style of play, I can anticipate by saying you can win a short competition, you can win a couple of matches without playing well, but you cannot win competitions without playing well. What is playing well? Playing well is scoring more goals than the opponent, conceding less goals than the opponent, making your fans proud because you win. We want everything at the same time. It is an aggressive approach by myself; I want to win matches, to play well, to play young players, to score goals, to make the fans proud. I want everything. Of course, we are not going to get everything, but I want to."
He was then asked whether he was a big player with a point to prove:
"There are some managers who haven't won a title for 10 years. Some of them have never won a title. The last time I won a title was one year ago, not 10 years ago, not 15 years ago. If I have a lot to prove, imagine the others.
"But the reality is that was never important for me; I play against myself, that is my feeling many many times. I have to prove to myself, not to the others, that is my nature. I would never be able to work without success. I have always to find the reasons why I have many questions to myself and towards the people working with me. It is my nature. That is why I could approach this job in a defensive point of view by saying ‘the last three years the best we did was fourth and the FA Cup', but I can't: it is my nature.
"When people have year after year a certain kind of menu, you have to change the menu for better or for worse. For many fears for United success was routine. But the last three years are three years I want to forget. I don't want the players to start the season thinking we have to finish fourth; to finish fourth is not the aim. I am 53, not 63 or 73. Maybe you are tired of myself, but I am a young manager, if I don't take this approach I am in trouble. The reality is the last five months I was in trouble; the first month was fine, the second month was not so good, after that it was a disaster."
Mourinho was then asked about transfer targets, and revealed a little more than the press officer would have liked:
"The third player is official? [press officer: 'No, not yet.'] When? [press officer: 'Soon.'] We made the nucleus of four priorities, four positions, to give a certain balance to the squad, to give a certain push of quality and qualities I need and want. As you now, I am a manager who likes specialist players; if you have three central defenders injured or suspended you need a left-back or midfield player that can give you a hand, but I like specialist targets.
"But from this list we have two or three? [press officer: 'Two at the moment.'] We have three. When we have the fourth, I will breathe, then the market will be open, because we are not going to get the fourth on the 31st of August, we are going to get him before then. But there is something for me that is very important: the players that we will keep all happy. Imagine the first match I don't select somebody, somebody will be disappointed, has the chance to move to another club, someone will want to leave, so there is an additional supplementary market. Now we have the third, and hopefully we will have the fourth."
He was then asked about the prospect of rekindling his rivalry with Pep Guardiola:
"I think the Leicester legacy was not just the happiness around the country; the legacy from them was also the fact that from now on we are in a competition where 20 teams are fighting for the title. Next season if you have another team that win the first five matches, you will consider that team — it doesn't matter who they are — you will consider them candidates. The time is over that you will say ‘in December these guys will collapse'. Leicester they killed it.
"I don't like to speak about one manager, one club, one enemy — I hate the word in football and in life. In the Premier League this approach doesn't make sense; if you focus too much on one team, the others will be laughing. The other teams will be happy with that. I am Man United manager with all the respect to all the other clubs in the country, especially one that was my house for seven years, and I shared so many incredible moments with their fans. I have to say I am the manager of the biggest club in the UK, so I don't have to be looking to the others so much. I have the same respect for every club, manager and opponent, and thanks a lot to Leicester for changing the profile of the competition."
When questioned about the departure of Ryan Giggs and his understanding of United's academy culture, Mourinho unfurled a piece of paper and looked set to answer in a Rafael Benítezesque fashion:
"I don't have time to answer your question, it would take 10 minutes. Just a couple of minutes? I knew this was coming. *unfurls piece of paper*. You know how many young players I promoted from academies? 49. Forty-nine. If you want, if any one of you is interested, I can give you that. I promoted 49 players from academies, and with two factors that are very important on these records. Sometimes you promote players because you have so many injuries that you don't have another choice. That is one factor. And the second factor is when you are not playing for big targets, it is easier to bring them up, outside the pressure of the big moments. My record of injuries is very very low. Even in many years from the UEFA Champions League studies about my teams. I never promoted players through need; I did it through conviction. Last season was the only season of my career I was not fighting for the title, so it was never a situation of stability and no pressure. I did 49, and some of them are big names. Today for example they are Champions League winners. Players that are at the Euros, that are playing for their national teams. One lie repeated many times can look true, but it is still a lie. With intention, without intention, many of you have repeated this — it is not true.
"About Ryan, the reality is that it is not my responsibility that Ryan is not in the club. The job Ryan wanted is the job the club decided to give me. It is not my fault. Ryan wanted to be United manager. The board decided the job was for me. From this moment, Ryan wants to be a manager. From 16 years ago I decided myself I want to be a manager. For many of us coaches, there arrives a moment when we make this decision. And Ryan made this decision. Ryan could have been what he wanted in the club, any important job. But he made a brave decision; it is not easy. In 2000 I was in Barcelona with a contract to be assistant for two more years. Do you think it was easy for me to leave such stability? It was not easy. For Ryan it is not just the step of going from assistant to manager, but the step of leaving his house. He was brave, honest, so good luck. If one day he wants to come back while I am here, I will never stop him. I will always say yes if the club asks my opinion. If one day the club offers him chance to be manager, I think it will natural and the consequence of success in his managerial career."
When asked whether he had received any advice from Sir Alex Ferguson, Mourinho joked:
"Bring the umbrella. And yesterday I couldn't believe that it was raining in the training ground. It was a great advice. The second advice was to bring my bottle of wine, because now we are going to have many occasions to be together. At this moment Sir Alex is on a holiday at the Euros, so I cannot see him this week, but when his summer holidays are finished I will be based in Manchester, he is the same, we will have lots of time to meet each other and share our personal stuff, friends, family, life. Obviously his opinion is an important opinion for me, the same way so many legends in this club love the club and some of them are in the pundits industry in this moment, and so every opinion will be important. People that love the club and have a connection will always be respected by myself."
And finally, Mourinho revealed that he does not see Wayne Rooney as a midfielder:
"In football there are many jobs, many jobs on the field. I think the one that is more difficult to find is the one that puts the ball in the net. Obviously players change during the years, it is normal a player of his age changes a bit, but something that will never change is the natural appetite to put the ball in the net. So, maybe he is not a striker any more, a No. 9 any more, but for me he will never be a No. 6, never anyone playing 50 metres away from the goal. Yes his passing is amazing, but so is mine without pressure. For me he will be a nine, a 10, a nine-and-a-half but not a six and not even an eight."