Wayne Rooney hails ‘winner’ Jose Mourinho

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney believes new manager Jose Mourinho has brought a winning mentality back to the club.

The Portuguese, who has 17 major trophies on his CV including eight league titles in four countries and two Champions League triumphs with different clubs, replaced Louis van Gaal this summer.

Although his predecessor won the FA Cup in his final match in charge, the feeling at Old Trafford was the club was lacking the drive previously provided by Alex Ferguson.

Rooney said Mourinho’s arrival has corrected that.

“It’s always great to get a new manager but when you get someone in the stature of Jose Mourinho he’s great to work under and he’s brought a winning mentality back to the club,” Rooney said on radio station Key 103.

“Manchester United, as a football club we have to win and we have to deliver for him. There’s pressure on the players but we’re ready and I think this season we’ll give a real challenge on all fronts.

“He’s come in, he’s been great with the players. The training has been hard but enjoyable. We’re ready, we’re working hard. We know it’s a big season for us.

“He’s made, in my opinion, some great signings who have gelled in really well with the squad so it’s exciting times.”

The 30-year-old starts the season needing just five goals to break United’s all-time scoring record held by Bobby Charlton but he is already looking at life beyond his playing days.

“I’ve started taking my coaching badges now so that will probably take about four or five years to complete,” he added.

“Of course I’ve got a lot of experience playing football so I think it would be criminal If I didn’t try and pass that knowledge on so hopefully when I finish playing I can get some role as a manager or coach and try and use the experience I’ve built up over the years.”

Rooney described Mourinho as having “a good balance of being the manager but also being a friend to the players” but that may not be an opinion shared by some after the Portuguese reportedly began his summer clear-out with up to nine players said to be on their way out of Old Trafford.

Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, who on Friday announced his retirement from international football with Germany, may be the highest-profile victim a little more than a year after he joined from Bayern Munich.

Defenders Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Tim Fosu-Mensah, Tyler Blackett, and Paddy McNair are also said to have been told they have no future.

Midfielders Adnan Januzaj and Andreas Pereira and forwards James Wilson and Will Keane make up the reported nine.

Rooney was part of the squad which flew out to Gothenburg for today’s friendly against Galatasaray, which is likely to see Zlatan Ibrahimovic make his first appearance in a United shirt.

Meanwhile Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is confident his summer transfer business will be a success.

Despite missing out on the likes of priority targets Germany forward Mario Gotze and Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell, the German has brought in seven players at a cost of about £70 million.

Klopp feels not only has he added further quality with goalkeepers Loris Karius and Alex Manninger, defenders Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan, midfielders Marko Grujic and Georginio Wijnaldum and forward Sadio Mane, but has also brought in the right characters. “We know more about them than they can imagine,” he said.

“We had a long trip with scouting so when you go and talk to the player you have already scanned him. The most important thing is how they can play football: talent, skill, potential but then character is very important.

“Could we gather all the information on the character side? No. I met all of them before we made the transfer and then it is about feeling the person behind the player. We tried to do our best and at this moment we feel quite confident it has worked.”


Lifestyle

A Spectacular 28.86-carat ring, the largest D-colour diamond ever offered online, will come up at Christie's Jewels in New York from June 16-30.High value diamond adds serious sparkle to online sale

A whiff of new normality is in the air, writes Des O'SullivanAntiques: How to put a post-lockdown world in the frame

Buy everything on Michelle Darmody’s list and create five meals.One List, Five Meals: Irish stew with a twist; Yellow Pepper Omelette

‘There are two of us, in it together’From Chestnut to Sage - how family food businesses, real labours of love, are coping with Covid

More From The Irish Examiner