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What Jose Mourinho did when Marko Arnautovic turned up five hours early for training

Daniel Marland

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What Jose Mourinho did when Marko Arnautovic turned up five hours early for training

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Jose Mourinho once gave Marko Arnautovic his watch after the Austria international turned up five hours early for training.

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The 33-year-old has been linked with a move to Manchester United in recent days and the forward is keen on a return to the Premier League.

Arnautovic was a target for the Red Devils when Mourinho was manager in 2018 and the duo were previously together at Inter Milan.

He was on loan from FC Twente in 2009 and regularly turned up late for training and team meetings.

Arnautovic and Mourinho embrace during their times at Stoke City and Manchester United. (Credit: Alamy)
Arnautovic and Mourinho embrace during their times at Stoke City and Manchester United. (Credit: Alamy)

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Arnautovic explained: "We were at Abu Dhabi for pre-season with Inter in 2009. I overslept for breakfast. Late number one.

"Then there was the team meeting. The hotel was huge and my room was on the 75th floor. I am waiting for the lift and I press and I press and still I have got seven minutes so I am ok. But then I still didn't make it. Disaster. Number two.

"Then before we meet for the game it was happening again and I was like: 'He is going to kill me'.

"So then we fought a little bit and I was out of the team that day, training on my own."

Arnautovic did manage to get back in his manager's good books, but it was a complete accident.

He thought Inter were training in the morning rather than the afternoon and turned up extremely early.

Arnautovic in Inter training with Wesley Sneijder. (Credit: Alamy)
Arnautovic in Inter training with Wesley Sneijder. (Credit: Alamy)

Mourinho was already at the training ground and broke down in a fit of laughter, before giving Arnautovic a gift.

The former West Ham United man continued: "Back in Milan I thought we were training in the morning and I went in just perfect.

"There were no cars there. We were actually training in the afternoon that day!

"Mourinho is there with his staff and he stands up and starts applauding and laughing. He said, 'You are my man. You come here five hours before training. I love you! Here, take my watch'. I still have that watch in my house."

Arnautovic scored 15 goals in 34 appearances last season and he's seen as a 'pragmatic' short-term solution for United.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

The club have also been linked with a £15 move for Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

It's believed Rabiot is seen as an alternative to Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong, who has been ten Hag's top target for over three months.

United were defeated 2-1 by Brighton in their season opener and first competitive match under Erik ten Hag on Sunday afternoon.

Topics: Manchester United, Jose Mourinho

Daniel Marland
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