Jose Mourinho is pleased to now be working for Daniel Levy after revealing his former clubs used to fear the Tottenham chairman.
Levy has a reputation of being one of the fiercest negotiators in football, as Mourinho found out when he tried to sign Tottenham players in previous roles.
Most recently he tried to bring Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld to Old Trafford, but Manchester United got short shrift out of Levy.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) November 22, 2019
The Spurs chief has also shown his ruthless side in his dismissal of Mauricio Pochettino less than six months after the Argentinian led the club to the Champions League final.
Mourinho was appointed less than 12 hours later, suggesting that negotiations had begun while Pochettino was still in the job.
And the Portuguese, whose spell begins with a trip to West Ham on Saturday, is happy to now have Levy on his side.
“I used to be in clubs that fear him,” he said. “It’s true. He’s powerful.
“He’s a business man, but he’s a football man. He has big experience, a part of his intelligence overall, he’s a football man, he understands football, he understands the industry, he understands the evolution.
“He’s very clever, he’s very intelligent. It’s great to have him on my side.”
Mourinho will especially count on Levy’s strength when it comes to trying to keep hold of striker Harry Kane.
The England captain will be the man Mourinho wants to build his new Spurs side around and he was pleased to hear there are no plans to sell Kane.
“This is not about me. This is about Mr Levy, this is about the club,” Mourinho added.
Gaffer. I’ll be forever thankful to you for helping me achieve my dreams. We’ve had some amazing moments in the last 5 and a half years that I will never forget. You were my manager but my friend as well and I thank you for that relationship. Good luck with your next chapter! 💙 pic.twitter.com/u64RXV7wd4
— Harry Kane (@HKane) November 20, 2019
“He has a vision, and part of that vision is to make the club better, bigger. There is no better and bigger football club without a bigger and better football team.
“So keeping the best players is obviously part of that plan. So (that) is nothing new with me.
“It was not like a promise to me, it was not like I said, ‘I only go if, I only go if’, there were no ‘ifs’.
“It was him (Levy), part of his explanation about his vision for the club. Without being specific about the players, he told me he does not sell players when the manager doesn’t want to sell.”
Mourinho suggested that Kane was one player he knew would be impossible to lure from Spurs, even if Roy Keane recently suggested it would be “easy”.
Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte admitted that he previously tried to sign Kane, but Mourinho said: “I think he was wasting his time.
“Because I think as managers we must have also this feeling of what is possible, what is not possible. And I think when you try to buy Kane it’s just an impossible mission.”
Mourinho is back in work after an 11-month hiatus following his sacking at Manchester United.
He could have returned to work long before he has done but said the Spurs project ticked all of the boxes.
A post shared by Tottenham Hotspur (@spursofficial) on Nov 21, 2019 at 1:30pm PST
“I’m not reinventing myself. I thought about my career, I thought about my evolution,” he said.
“I try to define new targets for my career. I was very selective.
“I had to say no many, many times to a few clubs, good clubs with some very interesting projects, but I always thought to myself I have to be strong enough to wait for something that really motivates me.
“Because one thing is the passion you have for football, but another thing is to feel that you have the right challenge, the right situation in your hands ahead of you. And this was something that really motivates me.”