Manchester United coach Rui Faria will quit the club this summer following claims he is a surprise contender for the soon to be vacant Arsenal job.
Faria, 42, is currently the Manchester United assistant manager working under Jose Mourinho, with the pair having worked together for the last 17 years at a variety of clubs around Europe.
However with all the talk being about who will replace Arsene Wenger at the Emirates, Faria’s name was last week linked. Speaking about that speculation, Jose Mourinho said he would encourage his friend to leave if it meant that the right opportunity became available.
Now, Manchester United have confirmed that the Portuguese will step down from his role and leave the club this summer.
Speaking to the official club website, Faria said: “After a lot of consideration, and with a very heavy heart, I have decided the time is right for me to move on.
“I have had 17 years of incredible and unforgettable experiences. However, I have felt for some time that I would like to spend much more quality time with my family before pursuing any new challenge in my professional life.
“My heartfelt thanks go to the manager, Jose Mourinho, for the belief he had in me, all those years ago, when it all was just a student dream. I would like to thank him for the opportunity and confidence, for the knowledge and experience, but most importantly for his friendship.
“I would also like to thank Manchester United and all the clubs where I have had the privilege of working during this period. I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to all the staff and players who, in different ways, have made an important contribution to my growth as a person and as a professional.
“I wish you all the best for the future, knowing that you will always be my close friends.”
Jose Mourinho added “17 years… in Leiria, Porto, London, Milan, Madrid, London again and Manchester. Training, playing, travelling, studying, laughing and also a few tears of happiness.
“17 years and the kid is now a man. The intelligent student is now a football expert, ready for a successful career as a manager.
“I will miss my friend and that is the hardest thing for me, but his happiness is more important and, of course, I respect his decision, especially because I know that we will always be together. Be happy, brother!”
While Manchester United are losing a vastly experienced coach, they have already started to integrate Michael Carrick into their coaching staff, with the former England midfielder set to make his final league appearance for the club today before embarking on his new role at the club.