Jose Mourinho has refused to confirm or deny Manchester United’s interest in signing Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez this January transfer window.
Sanchez, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, is being linked with a move to United and city rivals Manchester City in the current window.
“I don’t think it’s ethical or correct to be speaking about players of other clubs,” Mourinho said during his pre-match press conference on Friday ahead of Monday’s Premier League home clash with Stoke City.
“If somebody speaks of one of my players, to tell we are interested or not interested – this kind of thing – I wouldn’t be very happy. Sanchez is an Arsenal player.
“At the general level, I can say I told you myself, the Manchester United owners don’t believe in the January market. We don’t believe in signing a player just to do something. What we believe really is some players in football world, if you have a chance to sign them – it doesn’t matter if it is in January, March or July – you have to try. But in relation to Alexis Sanchez, I don’t say a word. The only word I can say is the same that everybody says – he’s a phenomenal player.”
Mourinho expressed delight following United’s warm weather training camp in Dubai.
He said: “Very good – unbelievable facilities, the prince’s private facilities are better than any football club in the world. Unbelievable conditions to work, nice weather, three days of really, really good training. Hopefully we can improve our level because I really think it was good.”
Commenting on United’s Premier League clash against Stoke City, Mourinho said: “We are all happy, we are lucky to play on Monday, which gave us this extra day to get back and tomorrow we are here again.”
Caretaker Eddie Niedzwiecki is currently in charge at Stoke following the sacking of Mark Hughes but Mourinho does not see the situation as a big advantage for United.
“I wasn’t inside but, from the outside, I think [Mark] is a guy with great qualities to do the job for them. I don’t think for the players it’s a difficult situation – probably they train the same way and it’s not a dramatic change that isn’t good in this period of the season.”
On Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s current injury news, he said: “Zlatan is injured or not totally happy with his condition. He consulted other doctors and other opinions and we all made the decision to stop treatment. When he’s feeling really good, he comes back to work. The date for him to be back training was around the end of January/beginning of February, so let’s hope his feelings are better.”
And on his war of words with Chelsea boss Antonio Conte who referred to him as “a little man” this week, he said: “When a person insults another, you can expect a response or you can expect silence. The first time he insulted me, I had a response, a response that I know touched the point where he really feels hurt. Then he insulted me for a second time and now I change. Now, contempt and, for me, contempt means end of the story.”