Jose Mourinho has appeared to criticise Manchester United’s recruitment strategy by insisting he would prefer ‘five very close scouts’ to ‘500 I never met in my life’.
Mourinho was sacked on December 18 after two and a half seasons in charge with the club and the Red Devils 19 points behind leaders Liverpool at the time.
During his time away from the game Mourinho has been working for beIN Sports among other television channels and has reportedly already rejected one lucrative job offer.
He has remained tight-lipped since he was axed, and a clause in his £18million severance package from United meant that he has been unusually guarded in pundit appearances so far.
Since leaving, Mourinho has highlighted the support rivals Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have received in the transfer market since taking over at Manchester City and Liverpool respectively.
Mourinho appeared to struggle to secure his intended transfer targets at Old Trafford, but Guardiola and Klopp have not had that problem.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Mourinho has now set out a list of criteria that must be met by potential future employers before he jumps back into management.
The 56-year-old said: ‘A club that is not ready to be a trophy-hunter immediately but with the ambition to be a trophy-hunter.’
‘If it is a club without ambition I wouldn’t go. I refused [the lucrative offer] because I want high-level football and ambitions at the highest level. That is my second item [requirement].
‘My first item is structural empathy. I want to work with people that I love. People I want to work with, that I am happy to work with, with whom I share the same ideas. I don’t want to be in a permanent contradiction [conflict] between what I think and the others think.’
‘It was what I had at Inter. There are clubs like this. Normally, that is a very important part of a successful club.’
The Portuguese also said that he sees ‘five very close scouts’ rather than ‘500 scouts that I never met in my life’ as the ideal recruitment strategy for a club.
The final weeks of Mourinho’s tenure at Old Trafford saw him embroiled in a bitter feud with Paul Pogba as division in the dressing room grew out of control.
He bemoaned the circus that follows modern players and insisted too many distractions can be detrimental to performances on the pitch.
‘You now have a generation of players who are not just players but the whole package,’ he added.
‘You have the player, the family, the agent, the entourage, the director of communication. You sometimes have the individual’s medical people and in an extreme situation you even have what they call their “personal fitness guys”.
‘When you have a player you have all these distractions. And if there is no empathy in the structure of the club you get into so many contradictions that it is really, really difficult to work.’