Jose Mourinho says he would not swap his job at Tottenham with “any club in the world” after it was revealed Arsenal showed an interest in him before sacking Unai Emery.
Sky Sports News understands certain senior figures at Arsenal wanted Mourinho to replace Emery before he succeeded Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham.
After Arsenal’s worst run of results since 1992, the club sacked Emery on Friday, nine days after Mourinho was confirmed as the new boss of their North London rivals.
Asked if he would have been interested in the role at the Emirates two weeks ago, Mourinho said: “There is no point to tell you. It didn’t happen, has happened now. I am so happy here that I couldn’t even think about the possibility of going to another place.
“You could put in front of me any club in the world and I would not go.”
Mourinho, who has experienced being sacked at Chelsea and Manchester United, expressed his sympathy with Emery but is confident the Spaniard will be back before long.
“It’s always sad news,” he said. “I felt it as a kid when my dad was sacked as a manager, I have felt it myself.
“There is not one single manager sacking that I am happy with.
“I am sad for it but that’s life. Unai is a fantastic coach, not happy at Arsenal obviously.
“With a little bit of a rest, another big club will come for him and his career will be back on track so: ‘No dramas mi amigo, keep going and you will get another club’.
“I don’t know the feelings or if Unai was happy to leave. I just can say that I’m always disappointed when a manager goes, even when I was without a job and I needed someone to leave for me to get a job.”
‘Howe has to go into battle’
Eddie Howe, who takes his Bournemouth side to Tottenham on Saturday, is among the top 10 contenders to replace Emery at Arsenal.
Mourinho was full of praise for his counterpart on Friday and says the Cherries boss should one day “go into battle”.
“Lots of people, including myself, thought [Bournemouth] would struggle to stay in the division,” Mourinho said.
“Eddie, now, is not just a manager that occasionally coaches in the Premier League. He is a Premier League manager by his own right.
“With all respect to Bournemouth, which is also a Premier League club in its own right, I think one day Eddie has to go into battle.”