January 4, 2018 / 3:28 PM / 14 days ago

Mourinho says talk of Man United departure is 'garbage'

(Reuters) - Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has dismissed speculation about his future at the Premier League club, saying he would like a long-term stay at Old Trafford provided the team’s owners are happy with his input.

After a relatively successful start to his United tenure last season, where they finished sixth in the league and won the Europa League and League Cup titles, Mourinho’s side have been overshadowed by bitter rivals Manchester City this campaign.

United are 15 points behind league leaders City in second position and suffered a shock League Cup exit last month and Mourinho’s growing frustration at his team’s inconsistent form has been noticeable, leading to reports of his exit.

”I say garbage, I don’t find a better word than that to define the talk,“ Mourinho told reporters when asked about a potential departure from United. ”My intention is to stay and to work and to improve and to bring the club to where the club belongs.

”I repeat I am in the middle of my contract, if I am going to sign a new one it depends on the club but my commitment is total and I want to stay.

“I see myself here (after three years), is just a question of (whether) the club... are all happy with my contribution and they want me to stay beyond the end of this contract.”

United’s decline in form has been contrasted by that of Pep Guardiola’s City, who are yet to be beaten in the league and competing impressively on all fronts.

Former Real Madrid and Inter Milan manager Mourinho also hit out at those questioning his professionalism, saying he was fully committed to United.

“The worst thing someone can do to me is to put one inch of doubt on my professionalism or in my dedication to my club, my job, my players and to every detail related to my job,” Mourinho added.

United striker Romelu Lukaku and midfielder Marouane Fellaini are set to return from their respective injuries for the club’s FA Cup opener against Derby County on Friday.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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