Jose Mourinho has waved away the concerns of his fellow Premier League managers and delivered a withering remark to them in the latest round of discussions over the division’s return.
The Tottenham manager is keen for the top flight to restart in just a matter of weeks, echoing the opinion of peers Jurgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti.
According to The Mirror, Mourinho even told the array of bosses in the recent League Managers’ Association meeting to ‘stay home and watch Bundesliga’ as preparations ramp up for the return of football in England.
Pep Guardiola, Frank Lampard, Nigel Pearson and Graham Potter are all said to be concerned about rushing back players into training and restarting the league too soon.
But the Bundesliga will return this weekend amid continued uncertainty over the Premier League’s new start date.
Mourinho has now admitted that he is ‘desperate’ for the league to return, but also highlighted the importance of keeping those involved safe.
He said: ‘I don’t think my position in the meeting has been reflected fairly at all today in media reports. I have not asked for any delay. I want to train, and I am desperate for the Premier League to return as soon as it is safe to do so, particularly now we are seeing other leagues preparing to return to action.
‘I am extremely proud of the way my players have maintained their fitness – they have shown great professionalism, passion and dedication. We have all been working extremely hard through remote squad training sessions and isolated running now the pitches are available to use again at the training centre.
‘Every player has been extremely committed in terms of their individual work and now we wait for clearance to commence working in small groups again, which I will fully support.’
The LMA discussions took place on Wednesday, before players held talks with the Premier League and Professional Footballers’ Association.
A host of stars are believed to be worried over their own health, and have demanded further assurances ahead of Project Restart.
Glenn Murray is the latest figure to voice his disapproval over hurriedly restarting the action, and stands alongside Sergio Aguero and Danny Rose in criticising the motives behind the desire to usher players back on to the pitch.
Top flight chiefs will hold a meeting on Thursday with the Government, the FA and the EFL to flesh out further details over re-introducing football at the highest level across the nation.
Premier League executives even reportedly hope that they will be given permission by the Government and the police to allow clubs to contest their remaining fixtures behind closed doors at their own stadiums.
The idea of hosting matches in neutral venues was met by widespread opposition by clubs in the top tier, and had threatened to derail the ambitious proposals to kickstart the sport despite the ongoing pandemic.
Clubs are thought to be hopeful that their playing staff will agree to return to training ahead of a shareholders meeting next Monday.
That summit is where a vote on football’s return is expected to be held.
The Premier League is likely to face a race against time to restart on June 12, as originally planned, after recent doubts – although players and managers did give their tentative backing to resuming training next week.
However, both groups did not endorse any other phases of the plan to return to the training field.
The most likely date for the top flight’s restart is now a week later, on June 19.