Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Is Jose Putting Down Roots with Look Ahead?

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Is Jose Putting Down Roots with Look Ahead?

Article excerpt

"I THINK next season we are going to get two or three more players and also lose two or three, if you can try to anticipate you can more or less see it is normal that this is going to happen. It's not going to happen that there is a dramatic change and a dramatic improvement but with time, step-by-step, with some balance, we have to do it."

Immediately talk turned to who those players could be - Paulo Dybala? Gareth Bale? Antoine Griezmann? Mesut Ozil? - and the fact that Jose Mourinho is already looking ahead to next summer is significant with City well clear at the top of the Premier League.

The Portuguese's future has been a subject that has firmly been parked since he fluttered his eyelashes towards PSG and talked of 'something special' in Paris - just months after he gushed he wanted to stay at Old Trafford for 15 years. That dream quickly evaporated, but this was the latest indication that Mourinho is thinking in the long-term - or the medium-term at least - as he enters the second half of his managerial career.

Already, he is pencilling in his transfer targets as he prepares to hand over his wishlist to Ed Woodward in the spring ahead of, arguably, the biggest summer of his career.

For the first time, Mourinho will be chasing going into his third season, which is often the campaign where his message just does not seem to get through to his jaded players like it once did.

Where those fixture complaints are even more tiresome.

The Portuguese's contract technically expires at the end of next season, although he has the option to extend that deal by a year, and that is an unusual situation.

Usually, Mourinho has already secured the luxury of a contract extension long before he enters the final 18 months of a deal, but that has not been the case at United.

That has not affected Mourinho's focus, though, as he toys with the idea of gambling on Gareth Bale and Mesut Ozil to somehow overturn City, and plans are already afoot in a number of key areas. …

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