Jose Mourinho has laughed off the suggestion that his decision to live in a city centre hotel shows a lack of commitment to his role as manager of Manchester United.
The Portuguese coach was forced to confirm his continued desire to remain in charge at Old Trafford following reports that senior club officials are concerned he may be preparing to leave at the end of the season.
Mourinho’s choice to live in an apartment in the city centre Lowry Hotel, rather than buy a permanent residence in the area, is also seen by critics at proof that the former Chelsea manager lacks a long-term wish to stay in the north-west.
But Mourinho told reporters on Thursday: “If the fans want me to be comfortable, that’s the way I feel comfortable, I am very lazy.
“I like to arrive in the hotel and I don’t want anyone to worry because I’m not living in a two-square-metres room.
“I’m in an apartment where I have all the comfort and support, like living in a house. If they are worried about me being comfortable and happy and supported, I really am.
“If they want me to be in a house that I don’t like, lonely, away from my assistants, then I would be a sad guy – and sad guys don’t work well.”
The 54-year-old was clearly offended by reports that his recent apparent unhappiness at his club’s lack of financial power, when compared with runaway league leaders Manchester City, proved his lack of enthusiasm for the United job.
And speaking ahead of his side’s FA Cup third round tie against Derby on Friday, he stressed that he is as committed to the Premier League giants as he has been to any of his previous posts.
“I was always thinking that my job is the job, so I dedicate myself to every club,” said Mourinho, whose club are second in the Premier League but trail City by 15 points.
“I arrive, I wear the shirt and in that moment it becomes my club. I manage to dedicate myself so strongly to every one of my clubs. I become emotionally connected.
“Everyone knows in Italy, I am Inter, Inter, Inter. In Spain, I am Real Madrid, Real Madrid, Real Madrid.”
The United boss said England’s top division used to have two or three big powers battling for supremacy, but now even clubs not fighting for the top four were spending huge sums.
Mourinho had earlier insisted that he expects to remain at United beyond the three-year contract he initially signed when replacing Louis van Gaal in the summer of 2016.
However, despite his repeated claims that he is fully committed to his Old Trafford role, Mourinho did confess that he will always be primarily linked with his first, and only other, English employers Chelsea.
“The difference now between Chelsea and Man United is that I really belong to Chelsea history,” he said.
“I won three Premier Leagues, cups, I won lots of things, their first Premier League in 2004. I have a history there, and here my history is (as) someone who works hard every day.
“We (United) won the only competition the club had never won, but everyone knows the Europa League is not the El Dorado of football. But I’ve come here in a moment where it’s more difficult to make history.
“So probably that history makes people connect me there more. But my past is Chelsea and my present is Manchester United and, hopefully, my future is Manchester United too,” he added.