Jose Mourinho sets his sights on Premier League star
Hours after reports started surfacing that Jose Mourinho was interested in signing a Premier League striker, the Portuguese was spotted in the stands to watch Austria vs Russia in person. Mourinho’s figure at the Tivoli Stadion Tirol in Innsbruck all but confirmed United’s interest in Marko Arnautović is concrete. The West Ham striker who is also capable of playing as a winger put on a solid performance before being subbed off 7 minutes from the end. The 28-year-old was instrumental as Austria defeated 2018 World Cup hosts Russia 1-0.
Jose Mourinho is looking at a number of players that could provide Manchester United with further firepower and Arnautović is one of his main targets. According to Sky Sports sources, the 29-year-old would cost The Red Devils around £50m. However, West Ham United are not interested in selling their star player. He has 4 years left on his contract after joining the Hammers for a club-record of £25m last season.
Jose Mourinho and Marko Arnautović have a history
Should United manage to nab their man, Jose Mourinho knows exactly what to expect from him. The pair has already worked together once before. In 2009, Arnautović joined Mourinho’s Inter from FC Twente on a season-long loan with an option to buy. However, at the time Mourinho turned down the opportunity to make the deal permanent saying –
“Mario Balotelli is his best friend. Coincidentally they have the same problems. Marko is a great guy, but he has the mentality of a child.”
Despite failing to make the cut, Arnautović holds no grudges against Mourinho. During an interview with the Daily Mail back in 2009, the striker shared a humorous story about his time with Inter and Mourinho.
“I overslept for breakfast. Late number one,” he told the Daily Mail.
“Then there was the team meeting. The hotel was huge and my room was on the 75th floor.
“I am waiting for the lift and I press and I press and still I have got seven minutes so I am okay. But then I still didn’t make it. Disaster number two.
“Then before we meet for the game it was happening again and I was like: ‘He is going to kill me’.
“So then we fought a little bit and I was out of the team that day, training on my own.
“Back in Milan I thought we were training in the morning and I went in just perfect. There were no cars there. We were actually training in the afternoon that day!
“Mourinho is there with his staff and he stands up and starts applauding and laughing.
“He said, ‘You are my man. You come here five hours before training. I love you! Here, take my watch.’
Marko Arnautović went on to join Bundesliga side Werder Bremen were he spent 3 years before moving to the Premier League.