Mour­inho wel­comed me back to Premier League, says Ranieri

The Financial Daily - - CONTINUATIONS -

LON­DON: Clau­dio Ranieri re­vealed on Thurs­day that Jose Mour­inho was the first man­ager to wel­come him back to the Premier League when he was ap­pointed Ful­ham boss last month.

Ful­ham visit Old Traf­ford on Satur­day, where Mour­inho’s Manch­ester United will hope to se­cure their first Premier League vic­tory in five games, re­unit­ing the pair for the first time since Ranieri’s de­par­ture from Le­ices­ter.

It was af­ter that dis­missal, just nine months af­ter lead­ing the Foxes to the ti­tle, that Mour­inho wore the Ital­ian’s ini­tials, CR, in a show of sol­i­dar­ity with a fel­low man­ager and Ranieri has re­vealed they have re­mained in reg­u­lar con­tact.

The Por­tuguese has fre­quently clashed with other high-pro­file man­agers and had pre­vi­ously crit­i­cised the job Ranieri did at Chelsea and in Se­rie A with Roma when they were both manag­ing in Italy.

But the Ful­ham man­ager said: “He was the first who sent me a mes­sage to say ‘wel­come back’. He is a very friendly friend.

“He told me, ‘Wel­come back, all the best’. We speak about ev­ery­thing. It was a text mes­sage. Some­times we speak. He’s a fan­tas­tic man.

“I have known him for a long time, when he came to Chelsea and when he was in Italy, and he was very po­lite with me. He’s a great man, coach, man­ager.

Bot­tom side Ful­ham pro­duced an en­cour­ag­ing per­for­mance in Wed­nes­day’s 1-1 draw with Le­ices­ter, giv­ing the 67-year-old Ranieri one vic­tory, one draw and one de­feat from his three matches in charge.

In United they face a team that are un­der pres­sure and strug­gling for form, but Ranieri in­sists his side will need to be “per­fect” if they are to suc­ceed.

“Manch­ester are one of the best teams in the Premier League and also in the Cham­pi­ons League,” he said.

“It’s a fan­tas­tic team and sta­dium and we want to make a point. We know it’s hard, but noth­ing is im­pos­si­ble.”-Agen­cies

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