News Live Scores
Tottenham Hotspur

'It is not true' - Tottenham boss Mourinho denies reports of Arsenal talks

01:54 GMT+3 30/11/2019
Jose Mourinho Tottenham 2019-20
The manager did not meet with the Gunners before he was appointed Spurs head coach, the former Chelsea boss says

Jose Mourinho insists he did not hold talks with Arsenal about replacing Unai Emery before becoming Tottenham's new head coach.

And the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Chelsea boss says the identity of the next Gunners head coach matters little to him - regardless of links to former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Mourinho was appointed by Tottenham last week, replacing the sacked Pochettino, but reports on Friday claimed he would also have been a target for Arsenal had Spurs' rivals moved faster in sacking Emery.

However, any suggestions that Mourinho may have discussed the Arsenal job with head of football Raul Sanllehi were batted away by the Portuguese.

Asked if his representative had met with Arsenal, Mourinho said: "No. No.

"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."

Pochettino has emerged as one potential option at Emirates Stadium, meaning he would return to face Tottenham and Mourinho in charge of their fiercest rivals.

But Mourinho was not concerned by the prospect, insisting he would be taking on Arsenal and not the new coach.

"I never played against Pochettino in my life. Never," he said. "Manchester United against Tottenham, yes, Tottenham against Chelsea, yes, but never me against Pochettino.

"So if he goes to Arsenal, if he goes to I don't know which club, it will never be me against [him]. It will be me against these clubs.

"So yes, I look forward to playing against Arsenal; yes, I want to play against Arsenal. I know what it means for our fans.

"I know that one is a big one, not just because Arsenal is a big club that fights for the same objectives as we do, but also I know the meaning and I like it."

Mourinho, meanwhile, is glad to be back in the Premier League, having been out of a job since leaving Manchester United in 2018.

"You know how much I like the Premier League, that’s the first point. You go back to Porto, my first opportunity to leave my country I had lots of options. It was England," he said.

"I was in Real Madrid, probably the dream club for the majority of us. I left Real Madrid to come to the Premier League. Now, I stayed in the Premier League which I always say is my natural habitat. So many years I like it a lot. So that is a point.

"The second point is this club. You know what the club is showing me. The vision they have for the future and everything, they are as a club in terms of structure organisation, feelings, a big club but with a concept of a family, working together with people.

"I see them everyday. Everybody is around me. Mr Levy is next door to me, his office is next door to me. Everyday I need him he is there. He needs me, I’m there. Then the chief scout [Steve Hitchen] is the next door. I meet him everyday. If I want to speak he’s there. If he wants to speak with me, I’m here. The academy boss three doors [down]. Everything is close, it’s commitment.

"We arrive here early in the morning, we leave late in the afternoon. I like very much this kind of empathy and the way we are working. And, again, very, very important, I like the players. Very important."