Ibra won’t leave Man Utd a fail­ure, vows Mour­inho

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Manch­ester United man­ager Jose Mour­inho is look­ing for­ward to work­ing with Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic again next sea­son af­ter declar­ing the striker’s con­tract ex­ten­sion will be a for­mal­ity. Ibrahi­movic 35, ar­rived from Paris Sain­tGer­main in July on a one-year deal with an op­tion for a fur­ther year, which Mour­inho in Novem­ber in­di­cated United would look to take up. Af­ter Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic scored once and made two goals in United’s 3-1 Box­ing Day win over Sun­der­land, Mour­inho said the clause had not been ac­ti­vated yet, but would be.

“It is ac­ti­vated in his brain and it is ac­ti­vated also in my de­ci­sions and in the own­ers’ and the board’s. So it is no prob­lem,” said Mour­inho. Ibrahi­movic’s goal against Sun­der­land means that he has scored 50 times across all com­pe­ti­tions for club and coun­try dur­ing 2016, the year he re­tired from in­ter­na­tional foot­ball with Swe­den.

“I am not re­ally sur­prised be­cause he is a very in­tel­li­gent guy and a very proud man,” Mour­inho said. “He de­cided to come to Manch­ester United and to the Premier League, to a club with the level of ex­pec­ta­tion of Manch­ester United, in the most dif­fi­cult league in the world for a striker.

“When he de­cides to come here, it is be­cause he knows he can do it. “When we con­tacted him and he said, yes, he will come, I was sure that he was not com­ing here to leave the Premier League with­out prov­ing him­self.

“To leave the Premier League hav­ing failed at Manch­ester United? No way. “When such a guy de­cided to come, I was com­pletely clear that he would be ready and he is ready for more next sea­son. He will be here again.”

Ibrahi­movic set up Da­ley Blind to put United ahead in the 39th minute and then ran through to score from Paul Pogba’s pass be­fore set­ting up Hen­rikh Mkhi­taryan for a spec­tac­u­lar ‘scor­pion kick’ vol­ley. United se­cured a fourth suc­ces­sive Premier League win, and ex­tended their un­beaten record in all com­pe­ti­tions to 11 matches, in the ab­sence of cap­tain Wayne Rooney. The United cap­tain was with­drawn from the squad af­ter suf­fer­ing a thigh mus­cle in­jury in train­ing.

Mour­inho said the Eng­land cap­tain was a doubt for United’s home match against Mid­dles­brough on New Year’s Eve. Asked if Rooney would be fit, Mour­inho said: “I don’t think so. I hope so.

I would like him to be. “He is al­ways a player I would like to be avail­able. Let’s see. It is not a big deal, but in four days, I have my doubts.”

Sun­der­land man­ager David Moyes suf­fered de­feat on his first re­turn to Old Traf­ford since United sacked him in April 2014.

Moyes, whose team re­main in the Premier League rel­e­ga­tion zone, said he en­joyed his re­turn, de­spite the pub­lic­ity that sur­rounded him in the days be­fore the fix­ture.

“When you are in foot­ball, what comes around goes around,” said the Scot, whose team replied through Fabio Borini’s long-range ef­fort.

“I knew that some day I would come up against the Manch­ester United play­ers or work with some of them. “I think that’s what hap­pens when you’re in foot­ball. I en­joyed com­ing back. I have al­ways en­joyed com­ing here. It’s a hard place to come, a hard place to get a re­sult, and that showed to­day.”

From chas­ing ti­tles at Old Traf­ford, Moyes now finds him­self locked in a rel­e­ga­tion tus­sle with Sun­der­land, who lie two points from safety.

“We are go­ing to have to try to gal­vanise from within,” said the for­mer Pre­ston North End, Ever­ton and Real So­ciedad man­ager.

“It is not a sit­u­a­tion I am nec­es­sar­ily used to, but some of the play­ers are used to it here. “I hope to­gether we can find a way of being good enough and strong enough in the games that re­ally mat­ter.

“Did this game mat­ter? It def­i­nitely mat­tered. But there will be games maybe more so that will be im­por­tant for us.” — AFP beIN SPORTS 2 HD

Southamp­ton v Tot­ten­ham

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