Football News

Jose Mourinho denies meeting with Arsenal before taking Spurs job

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 19:41, 30 November 2019

Jose Mourinho has denied he spoke with Arsenal about becoming their new manager before succeeding Mauricio Pochettino at rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

The Gunners recently brought an end to Unai Emery’s tenure at the Emirates and will now begin the search for a long-term successor.

A wanted man: Five key things to know…

  • Jose Mourinho left Manchester United in December 2018 after 144 matches played.
  • He subsequently transitioned into a pundit as he waited for a return to management.
  • A host of clubs, including former employer Real Madrid, were linked with the much-travelled Portuguse coach.
  • Mourinho would take charge at Spurs during the recent international break though reports suggested he spoke with Arsenal.
  • Following the dismissal of Unai Emery, Mourinho denied he’d been in contact with the Gunners.

The much-travelled Portuguese tactician had been out of a job since last December after he parted company with Manchester United which subsequently led to his name being associated with a handful of jobs including Real Madrid where he previously enjoyed a spell in charge.

However, with Emery’s position becoming increasingly untenable, Mourinho was suddenly linked with the Gunners who – ahead of their upcoming match against Norwich City – sacked their under-fire Spanish boss.

Reports have since emerged that claim Mourinho and his representative had recently met Arsenal’s head of football Raul Sanllehi before taking on the Spurs gig, something the three-time Premier League winner rubbished.

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“No. No,” he told reporters when that rumour was put to him.

“Of course I never deny it because I never deny things. But when I was reading that I was in a meeting with Mr Sanllehi, it is not true.”

Arsenal have appointed former player Freddie Ljungberg, who had been part of Emery’s backroom staff, as interim boss and the former Swedish international will be keen to grab this opportunity with both hands as it could potentially lead to a full-time appointment.

Ljungberg’s first game will be at Carrow Road on December 1, where he’ll want to end the Gunners five-match winless streak in England’s top division, a run that has left them eight points below the Champions League places after 13 matches played. However, a win would see them move closer to the top four after Chelsea’s defeat to West Ham.