Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has claimed he was never interested in the Manchester United job last summer after the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Speaking to The Sun (subscription required), Mourinho was clear about his desire to move back to London, but he gave his full backing to current under-fire United boss David Moyes.
Sky Sports reports Mourinho saying:
I don't know if Sir Alex thought of me for United or not. The point is he clearly knew I wanted to go to Chelsea. I spoke with him after we (Real Madrid) knocked United out of the Champions League last season and I told him what I wanted to do - that Chelsea is what I wanted, that was the direction I wanted to go.
As for David, he went to a new club - a club with a new reality for him - and he is adapting. Next season will be better and attention, attention! He can still win the Champions League this season.
Mourinho's return to English football has been pivotal for Chelsea, who have reclaimed their title-challenging status after a period in which they threatened to drop out of the top four.
Now leading the Premier League, the Blues have scored 62 goals in the top division and have conceded only 23, per Squawka.
It is the typical statistical fingerprint of a Mourinho side, and United's loss is certainly the Stamford Bridge team's gain.
Former Chelsea midfielder Craig Burley gave his opinion in the summer on Chelsea appointing Mourinho and wondered about the logic behind the move:
The Manchester club, who won the Premier League last season, have fallen off the edge of the proverbial cliff since the start of Moyes' tenure and look sure to be without European football next year for the first time in a generation.
When asked if Moyes would have been sacked for his current record if he was the manager of Chelsea, Mourinho replied, per Sky Sports: "Maybe not. Maybe Chelsea now has a different vision, working to a different profile with a different strategy."
United and Ferguson appear to have made a huge error in giving control of the club to a man who lacks the experience of top-level football that is required. The goal was to look toward consistency and longevity by hiring Moyes, as he has similar DNA as that of Sir Alex.
However, it has truly backfired. The only connection Moyes and Ferguson have is their nationality, and it has been a huge oversight by the Glazers to allow a manager who does not have the sufficient CV to take control.
If Mourinho is to be believed, United not pursuing the Portuguese manager smacks of poor planning.
The club have endangered themselves unnecessarily by not choosing a top-level name to take the reins, and this is now clearly evident on the pitch and in the team's tactics.
Moyes undoubtedly will get further time to prove his worth, and some might say that is the correct course of action.
However, if results do not improve fast, the search for a manager of the calibre of Mourinho will begin swiftly, if it has not already begun now.
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