These claims are made by respected Spanish journalist Diego Torres, who writes for El Pais. In the book, Prepare to Lose: the Mourinho Era, Torres insists that Mourinho was disappointed by Ferguson’s decision and the appointment of Moyes “provoked an earthquake”.
He wrote: “Mourinho … thought that Ferguson was, besides his ally, also his friend and godfather. He was convinced that they were tied by a relationship of genuine trust. He thought that his fabulous collection of titles constituted an ‘endorsement’ unreachable to any other contenders. When he knew that Ferguson had elected Moyes, the Everton coach, he was struck by a terrible disbelief. Moyes hadn’t won absolutely anything!”
Torres also stated that the former Real Madrid coach, was always on the phone with his sports agency, Gestifute.
“Mourinho wouldn’t stop calling them. His ‘interlocutors’ had heard him sob loudly and they were spreading the word. The most feared man in the company was crushed.”
The book also described Mourinho’s misery in a Madrid hotel, saying: “the most unfortunate hours of Mourinho’s phase as Real Madrid coach. He endured them between dozing and waking, glued to his mobile phone in search of clarifications, on the night of the 7th and the morning of the 8th of May, tucked into the Sheraton Mirasierra hotel.”
Moyes was confirmed as Ferguson’s replacement on May 9 and Mourinho waited endlessly for a phonecall from the retired Scot, which never came. The Portuguese also remembered some unflattering comments from United director Sir Bobby Charlton, who did not support him taking over at Old Trafford.
“He was tormented by the memory of an interview of Sir Bobby Charlton in the Guardian in December. His judgments gave him a big uncertainty. ‘A United coach wouldn’t do what he did to Tito Vilanova’, stated Charlton, evoking the finger in the eye, when asked if he saw Mourinho as a successor for Ferguson. In regards to the admiration that Ferguson professed towards him, the veteran footballer implied that it was a fable: ‘He doesn’t like him that much’.
“In the morning he called Mendes so that he urgently got in touch with United. Until the end, he wanted his agent to pressure the English club as an attempt to block any operation. It was an act of desperation. They both knew that Mendes had put Mourinho in the market a year earlier.”
Torres also claimed in the book that “Mendes had already been told in the autumn of 2012 that Ferguson’s first option was Pep Guardiola. He had been explained the reasons. In Gestifute, the message from a United executive rumbled like a drum: ‘The problem is that when things don’t work for Mou, he doesn’t do club politics. He does José politics’.”
In his words, Mourinho “felt betrayed by Ferguson and feared that someone might stop taking him seriously. For years, the propaganda machine acting at his services had divulged the idea of a friendship that now was revealed as a fantasy image. To give coherence to the facts in the public light, Gestifute’s advisers advised him to say that he already knew because Ferguson had called him to inform him.
“On the 9th of May, someone from Gestifute got in touch with Record newspaper to say that Ferguson offered his crown to Mourinho four months ago, but that he refused it because his wife preferred to live in London, and that was why he ended up choosing Chelsea. At the same time, Mourinho offered an interview to Sky in which he declared that Ferguson kept him in the loop about his decisions, but that he never made him the offer because he knew perfectly well that he wanted to coach Chelsea. The contradictions were not planned.”
Mourinho eventually returned to Stamford Bridge and admitted that he knew Ferguson was stepping down, but denied he was interested in the job.
“I knew that Ferguson was retiring many months ago,” he said. “I would have turned down every job in the world – the Manchester United job, every one – for Chelsea.”
Mourinho’s adviser Eladio Parames, has already rubbished the accounts published in the book. He said: “This story does not have any sense,” he is quoted by the Portuguese newspaper O Jogo. “It is completely false, it has no head or tail.”
Chelsea have so far declined to comment on the matter.