Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has admitted to being worried by the influx of the nouveau riche Chinese clubs as major players in the transfer market.
“I am worried, because they [Chinese clubs] can offer contracts that are impossible to offer in Europe,” said Mourinho to GQ magazine about the astronomical sums of money being thrown about by Chinese clubs.
“If you are negotiating a new contract with one of your players, and you offer him £5m per year and they offer £25m, then you have a big problem,” he added.
However, the 54-year-old is clear about the kind of players he wants to work with, suggesting that they consider both the sporting and the financial package before being tempted by the money on offer.
“Maybe the player takes £5m because he prefers football. Or £25m because he prefers money.
“But in the end the player who wants to go is a player that maybe you don’t want to keep,” Mourinho said.
Mourinho has wasted little time in offloading the deadwood at his club in the January transfer window, recouping upwards of £30m by selling Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay.
Manchester United under Mourinho have got their act together this season after a slow start. The Red Devils are still some way off achieving their targets this season, but they are well-placed in all the competitions they are in, the Premier League aside.
Bookmaker predictions have them as outsiders for the league title but they are always likely to score at any time during games and as such always a betting favourite in domestic as well as the European cup competitions. You can look for more information on United’s prospects for the remainder of this season with any of these live betting bookmakers.
United have the EFL Cup final against Southampton on 26th February at Wembley. They are also through to the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Their Europa League campaign resumes in mid-February against Saint-Étienne, while they are four points off the top four places in the league.
The Portuguese tactician, who has won a glut of top European honours, was himself linked with a move to the Far East but has revealed he refused a big offer to move to China.
“I have already refused a big offer to go to China, but I don’t criticise anyone who decides to do it. It’s their choice, their life. Only they can decide what they need for their future. Other managers in the Premier League have been critical, but I am no critic.”
Mourinho’s calm demeanour amid the Chinese money storm is an indication of his changed outlook at United.
“You can see he has got to grips with the club,” Sir Alex Ferguson attributed Mourinho’s greater emotional control of late to his settling in at the club.
The chances of Mourinho repeating Ferguson’s success at United are slim as the face of football changes like never before. The mushrooming of Chinese money is a sign of that change, and it remains to be seen whether one day the likes of Mourinho working in China becomes normal service.
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