No contact with Arsenal before taking Tottenham job – Mourinho
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho says he did not have any contact with Arsenal about replacing Unai Emery before accepting Spurs managerial role.
Mourinho, 56, was reported to have met Arsenal’s head of football Raul Sanllehi earlier this month as Emery’s position began to come under threat.
Emery was sacked on Friday, nine days after Mourinho became Spurs boss.
“When it was written that I was in a meeting with Mr Sanllehi, it was not true,” Mourinho said.
With Emery then still in his position at Emirates Stadium, the Portuguese manager took over at Arsenal’s arch-rivals Tottenham following the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino.
Former Chelsea and Manchester United boss Mourinho signed a contract with Spurs until the end of the 2022-23 season.
Argentine Pochettino has been among the names linked with replacing Emery and Mourinho says he is already looking forward to playing against Arsenal again – whoever is in charge.
Spurs will host the Gunners at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in late April.
“I look forward to playing against Arsenal. I want to play against Arsenal. I know what it means for our fans,” Mourinho said.
“But with Mauricio or Emery or Freddie Ljungberg or whoever else, that’s no problem.
“I know the big ones and I know that’s 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.”