Manchester United assistant manager Rui Faria will leave the club at the end of this season following 17 years as Jose Mourinho’s right-hand man.
Faria served as a prominent member of Mourinho’s backroom staff during his spells with Porto, Chelsea, Inter, Real Madrid and over the past two seasons at Old Trafford.
The 42-year-old Portuguese coach was recently linked to the vacancy created by Arsene Wenger’s imminent departure from Arsenal, with Mourinho describing his long-time ally and friend as a “good fit” for the Emirates Stadium job.
However, in a statement on United’s official website, Faria stated a desire to spend more time with his family as his primary motivation for departing.
“After a lot of consideration, and with a very heavy heart, I have decided the time is right for me to move on,” Faria said.
“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.”
Faria went on to thank Mourinho for his guidance and friendship.
He added: “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.”
#MUFC announces that assistant manager Rui Faria is to leave the club at the end of the season. We wish him all the best for the future.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 12, 2018
Michael Carrick will join Mourinho’s backroom team after a farewell appearance against Watford at Old Trafford on Sunday, although there has been no announcement over who will serve as Faria’s direct replacement.
“Seventeen years… in Leiria, Porto, London, Milan, Madrid, London again and Manchester. Training, playing, travelling, studying, laughing and also a few tears of happiness,” said Mourinho, who was in a similarly reflective mood to his compatriot.
“Seventeen 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.”
United take on Chelsea in the FA Cup final at Wembley next weekend, having already secured a second-place finish in the Premier League behind champions Manchester City.