Santiago Solari insists he is not suddenly worrying about his future as Real Madrid coach after Jose Mourinho was sacked by Manchester United having been linked with a return to the Santiago Bernabeu.
United ended Mourinho’s tenure on Tuesday following a dire start to the season, which has left them trailing Premier League leaders Liverpool by 19 points.
Mourinho’s final game in charge was Sunday’s 3-1 defeat by United’s bitter rivals, but his position had long since been the subject of speculation, the coach’s relationship with various players coming under scrutiny.
The Portuguese coach has been linked with a potential return to Madrid – whom he coached for three years until 2013 – at the end of the season, despite Solari only taking over permanently last month.
But Solari has no worries about the rumours, brushing them off as something Madrid coaches have to put up with.
1.62 – Manchester United averaged 1.62 goals per game in the Premier League under Jose Mourinho, less than they did under David Moyes (1.65). Chosen. pic.twitter.com/QOYvLPuXN7
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 18, 2018
Speaking to reporters ahead of Wednesday’s Club World Cup game with Kashima Antlers, Solari said: “I have the utmost respect and admiration for all my colleagues, professionals and amateurs, who also do an exceptional job, and with more reason to those who have been a part of this club and have given us joys and have given the maximum so that this club does well.
“And how could I worry that there is speculation about Madrid? That happens every day.”
Mourinho’s dismissal has seen debates comparing his time at United with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City tenure, with some suggesting the success of the latter has made United look even worse.
Solari was not eager to side himself with the philosophies of either coach, however.
“I identify with the values represented by Madrid,” he said. “It has to be a dominating team, always seeking victory, has to attack, get goals, must not surrender under any circumstances.
“To achieve that, we must work on many aspects at a tactical and methodological level and also at the physical level. But, to sum up, I feel identified by the football values that represent Madrid.”
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