Mourinho was the subject of a bizarre press conference in the Chinese capital on Sunday as he previewed a Manchester derby which he transparently has little appetite for.
The state of the pitch at the Bird’s Nest Stadium is a matter of some concern, so much so that United’s training and media activities were switched to the Olympic Centre. Further heavy rain is expected before kick-off.
So packed was the small media room at the new venue, the press conference had to be moved outside, to the evident displeasure of the new United boss, who saw his side lose 4-1 to Borussia Dortmund in Shanghai on Friday.
Luiz floored Ceballos during fight at Arsenal training ground - report
To make matters worse, United had already seen a plane carrying half their team become “lost” due to bad weather.
Mourinho unimpressed with City fixture
The United manager was not exactly exuding enthusiasm as he addressed the media on Sunday.
“City against United for me is at Old Trafford or at the Etihad or even the cup final at Wembley. Not a friendly,” he said. “Maybe with these conditions it’s a double friendly.
“I think Beijing is unlucky because the pitch is very bad. The condition of my players is more important than the results in pre-season. I have only one goal from tomorrow’s match, take the players home safe.”
Mourinho was also unimpressed with the standard of questioning by the media.
When asked if he was happy Portugal won Euro 2016, he replied: “Another brilliant question. Are you expecting me to say no?”
Mourinho: I’ll shake Pep’s hand
Another question which irritated Mourinho was an enquiry as to whether he will shake hands with Pep Guardiola ahead of kick-off.
The two were once colleagues at Barcelona but had a bitter falling out when Mourinho was manager of Real Madrid, with their personal enmity becoming the defining feature of el clasico between 2010 and 2012.
“To qualify the question I would use some unpolite words. Of course I’ll shake his hand,” Mourinho said.
“I don’t understand the question to him and I don’t understand the question to myself. We worked together at Barcelona and we worked against each other in Spain. I don’t see the reason for the question.”
Havertz returns to Chelsea training after positive Covid-19 test
Newcastle United confirm legal dispute with Premier League over failed Saudi takeover