JOSE MOURINHO says the pressure of modern football will deny him retirement at Manchester United — not his own desire to leave.
The Special One has been linked with French moneybags Paris Saint-Germain.
But he can see himself at Old Trafford for another five years — despite claiming you can forget about having the longevity Sir Alex Ferguson enjoyed and Arsene Wenger has at Arsenal.
Mourinho said: “I am not going to end my career at Manchester United.
“I ask how is it possible in modern football that any manager is going to last 15 or 20 years in the same club. I think Wenger is the last one.
“It is impossible for us, with everything that surrounds the job, with all the pressure that surrounds every job — it’s impossible to last for so long.
“If in this moment I want to finish my career in two, three, four or five years, my ambition I would say is to end my career at Manchester United.”
Mourinho, who delivered two major trophies in his first season at United, set alarm bells ringing at the weekend when talking about his Old Trafford future.
In an interview with French television he praised PSG, while claiming he would not stay at United until he retired.
But on the eve of tonight’s Champions League clash with Benfica in Lisbon, he clarified his situation, saying he was not ready to leave United for PSG.
He added: “The reality is simple — I didn’t sign a new contract, but I am not thinking about leaving, too.”
The Portuguese coach is almost halfway through his initial three-year United deal.
And the Old Trafford hierarchy are desperate for him to put pen to paper on a new five-year contract, as revealed by SunSport last week.
United are hopeful the issue can be finalised before the end of the season, to avoid further speculation over his future.
There is real positivity at the club about how things are going under Mourinho.
Following the turmoil of David Moyes and Louis van Gaal’s reigns, Mourinho has turned United back into genuine title challengers after winning the EFL Cup and Europa League last term.
They had been joint top of the Premier League with arch-rivals City until the weekend, when they drew 0-0 at Liverpool.
And United have also made a positive start to their Champions League campaign with two wins, while tonight’s opponents Benfica have suffered two defeats.
Yet Mourinho has told his players the Portuguese side are stronger opponents than anything else in Group A.
He said: “Benfica are much better than CSKA and Basel.
“The players were convinced. I think they realise results are not a real indicator of teams.
“They know Benfica are a good team and are a tricky adversary for us.
“One point away against the strongest of the three teams in the group is a positive result.”
Mourinho also hit back at Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren, who accused United striker Romelu Lukaku of deliberately catching him in the face with his heel on Saturday at Anfield.
He said: “There is a bit of a contradiction there because he says let’s move on and forget what happened.
“But then he spends ten minutes talking about what he thinks happened and didn’t happen.
“For me, they are words without any meaning and the FA committee is there to analyse and make decisions, so no comment.”