Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has tipped Tottenham Hotspur as one of the favourites for this season’s UEFA Champions League.
Mourinho stated this on Monday while speaking in his press conference ahead of United’s Premier League clash away to Spurs on Wednesday.
Spurs are currently fifth in the league table, eight points behind second-placed United.
“It is one of the top teams in the country,” Mourinho said. “Not a title contender this season because they are too far away. But I say honestly they are a Champions League contender, they can reach that level. They have some of the best players in the country, a very good manager and a very difficult opponent.
“Last season we gave up on that fight when we felt that it was going to be very difficult to do that, plus the injuries, plus the Europa League. Tottenham are fifth but they are one of the best teams in the league, so fifth, fourth, third – it’s not important for the match. The important thing is the great quality they have.”
Following talks about Zlatan Ibrahimovic leaving United, Mourinho said he is not aware of such reports that the former Paris Saint-Germain star is only concerned about returning to help his current team.
He also revealed that Ibrahimovic is not injured.
“He told me nothing about it. The first time I read something or listened to something about that was from you [the media] – I read on some website and I listened to some channel. He never mentioned that to me, so I don’t know.
“Zlatan is in his last year of contract. If – I’m saying if, because you told me, I repeat: he said nothing about it to me – if that is true and Zlatan wants a future in another club, in another country, we are here to help and to create conditions for it to happen – not to make his life difficult. But the last thing that Zlatan told me was he wants to recover totally and feel ready to help the team.
“He’s working hard to be fit. I’m not saying injured because he’s not injured. I think he’s in a moment of trying to feel really ready for the demands of Premier League football.”
On Marouane Fellaini’s contract situation, Mourinho said: “He’s a very important player for me and a great professional who is giving everything to help the team. There’s a desire from myself, the board and the player to stay together and that’s our objective. Are we going to agree? I don’t know. But what I know is myself, the board and the player we would like to have a happy end.”
And on his new contract with United, the former Chelsea boss said: “The club wants the same as I want, it’s as simple as that. The club, the owners and the board have the same ambitions that I have and they have the same desire to improve at every level to make possible these ambitions in terms of achievements. We know that stability is very important and we decide to sign the contract with this in mind. We believe in each other, we have common goals and we go for it.”