Mourinho turned down China’s ‘big offer’

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Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho looks on from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in London on October 23, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. /

Jose Mourinho turned down a “big offer” to go to China, the Manchester United manager disclosed in an interview published Monday.

The 54-year-old Portuguese boss did not disclose which club made the proposal but said he would not criticise anyone who made a highly lucrative move to the developing Chinese Super League.

Last week saw Mourinho cast doubt over rhe Old Trafford future of England captain Wayne Rooney, who recently became United’s all-time leading goalscorer, by saying “the money is huge” in China, amid reports of Asian interest in the striker.

“I have already refused a big offer to go to China, but I don’t criticise anyone who decides to do it,” Mourinho told the monthly GQ men’s magazine.

“It’s their choice, their life. Only they can decide what they need for their future. Other managers in the Premier League have been critical, but I am no critic.”

Fellow high-profile managers Luiz Felipe Scolari and Sven-Goran Eriksson are already in the Chinese Super League, while this month saw Argentina striker Carlos Tevez join Shanghai Shenhua from Boca Juniors.

His arrival came a fortnight after that of Brazilian star Oscar, who joined cross-town Shanghai rivals SIPG for £50 million ($63 million, 60 million euros) from Chelsea that smashed the Asian transfer-fee record.

Former Chelsea manager Mourinho said he was “worried” about the prospect of losing players to China and urged them to think about more than money.

“If you are negotiating a new contract with one of your players, and you offer him £5 million per year and they offer £25 million, then you have a big problem,” Mourinho admitted.

“Maybe the player takes £5 million because he prefers football. Or £25 million because he prefers money.

“I am worried, because they can offer contracts that are impossible to offer in Europe. But in the end the player who wants to go is a player that maybe you don’t want to keep,” he added.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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