Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is struggling to win over his critics at Old Trafford but in new Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri he at least has one big fan.Italian Ranieri takes his side, currently bottom of the Premier League, to United on Saturday and said he is looking forward to renewing his friendship with the man who replaced him as Chelsea manager in 2004.
Ranieri, back in the English top flight for the first time since parting ways with Leicester
City in 2017 having taken them to a fairytale title, said Mourinho was the first manager to welcome him back.
’He was the first who sent me a message to say welcome back. He is a very friendly friend. He told me, ’welcome back, all the best’. We speak about everything,’ Ranieri told reporters.
’It was a text message. Sometimes we speak. He’s a fantastic man. I know him for a long time, when he came to Chelsea and in Italy, and he was very polite with me. He’s a great man, coach, manager and also the football is important.’
Mourinho wore Ranieri’s initials following his sacking by Leicester last year, a mark of respect to the man who nine months earlier had taken them to the title.
The Portuguese is having a difficult time at Old Trafford with the Reds in eighth place -- 18 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City and eight off the top four.
Ranieri believes they are improving although he will be hoping to add to Mourinho’s woes at the weekend.
’I think Manchester United are getting
better,’ he said. ’For us, it will be difficult. We have to make a perfect performance.
’We want to make a point there. We know it’s hard but nothing is impossible.’