Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has told GQ that he has already turned down “a big offer” to go to China.
The Chinese Super League’s rich clubs have been targeting high-profile names during the transfer window, with United forward Wayne Rooney among those being mentioned.
Mourinho said: “If you are negotiating a new contract with one of your players and you offer him £5 million per year and they offer £25m then you have a big problem. Maybe the player takes £5m because he prefers football. Or £25m because he prefers money.
“I have already refused a big offer to go to China, but I don’t criticise anyone who decides to do it. It’s their choice, their life. Only they can decide what they need for their future.
“Other managers in the Premier League have been critical, but I am no critic. I am worried, because they can offer contracts that are impossible to offer in Europe. But, in the end, the player who wants to go is a player that maybe you don’t want to keep.”
Jose Mourinho: 'I am an icon' https://t.co/5jG3M6S2Lv
— British GQ (@BritishGQ) January 30, 2017
The United manager highlighted that it is better for younger players, in particular, to go if they are prioritising money.
He said: “Imagine the guy who is 24 or 25, and he wants to go? At 24, or 25? OK, goodbye, be happy.
“The player who is 31 or 32, and they go for a few years and then come back with a bank account full, OK. But when they are young and they have a chance to be in the best competitions, and they still decide to go, well maybe it is better that they go.”
Mourinho was also asked if he ever thinks about his legacy and replied: “I have a big legacy. But there is one thing that’s really important to me: I changed the life of Portuguese managers.
“After 2004, when I started conquering my space in the world of football, the Portuguese managers started to have something they never had, a little bit of credibility, a little bit of opportunity. The doors opened. Now they are all over the world. This is my legacy.”