Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho described recent reports suggesting he could resign from his role at the end of the season as "garbage" ahead of the Red Devils' FA Cup clash with Derby County on Friday.
The Portuguese manager was adamant he has no intention of departing Old Trafford, not least as he still has a year-and-a-half remaining on his current contract, per Adam Marshall and Adam Bostock on United's official website:
"If you want to speak about some news, I say garbage. I don't find a better word to define the talk. If you want to ask me directly, which I suppose you want, if I see myself next season in Manchester United, I say I see myself [here] and, as I told you when I arrived, I am going to leave when the club wants me to leave because I have no intention to leave at all.
"My intention is to stay and to work and to improve and to bring the club to where the club belongs. I want to stay. I don't see any reason not to stay. So, yes, I still have a contract. In fact, I am in the middle of my contract, I'm not in the last couple of months. My desire is to stay. It's just a question of the club, the owners, the board, Mr. [Ed] Woodward, [and what] they all want, [if] they all are happy with my contribution and they want me to stay beyond the end of this contract. But, yes, I want to stay."
Matt Lawton in the Daily Mail noted recently fears were increasing at Old Trafford that Mourinho was preparing to resign, with one club source reportedly saying: "Jose seems to be having third-season syndrome a year early with us."
Lawton's report also explained Mourinho's decision to stay at the five-star Lowry Hotel in Salford since he was appointed manager, rather than buy a house, had caused concern about his long-term commitment to the club.
"If the fans want me to be comfortable, that's the way I feel comfortable. I'm very lazy, I like to arrive in the hotel, and I don't want anyone to worry, because I'm not living in a two square-metre room. I'm in an apartment where I have all the comfort and support, like living in a house.
"If they're worried about me being comfortable and happy and supported, I really am. If they want me to be in a house that I don't like, lonely, away from my assistants, then I would be a sad guy—and sad guys don't work well."
Lawton's report came in the wake of a disappointing Christmas period that ended with a fine 2-0 win over Everton but included three consecutive draws against Leicester City, Burnley and Southampton, with the latter two coming at home.
During the festive fixtures, Mourinho, 54, also seemed to become increasingly frustrated as he complained about a lack of backing in the transfer market and also lashed out at club legend Paul Scholes after his criticism of Paul Pogba, per BBC Sport.
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Jose Mourinho trying to think of what to blame this time 🤔 https://t.co/yLk5idQ4qU2017-12-30 19:59:08
With the dust having settled on the hectic schedule of late December and early January, United remain in second place in the Premier League but are 15 points behind leaders Manchester City.
Barring a collapse of unprecedented proportions from Pep Guardiola's side, United look set to go another season without winning the title.
The Red Devils are improving, though.
After 22 games of the 2017-18 season they have 47 points, their best tally at this stage of the season since the last title-winning campaign in 2012-13.
United are also in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2013-14 and are favourites to advance against Sevilla, and they kick off their FA Cup campaign against the Rams at Old Trafford on Friday.
Mourinho is being eclipsed in the Premier League by his old rival Guardiola, but his insistence that he is eager to remain at United and improve the team further is likely to instil confidence at Old Trafford following rumours he wanted to leave.