Rui Faria, Jose Mourinho’s assistant since 2003, has announced he will leave Manchester United at the end of the season, citing a desire to spend more quality time with his family.
The Portuguese attended the same university as Mourinho and worked with him as a fitness coach at Porto ahead of becoming his right hand man upon joining Chelsea in 2004.
He was reportedly shortlisted for the vacant Arsenal job in the summer, with Mourinho later noting that he would support his friend and colleague if he decided to leave.
Faria has released a statement on Saturday evening thanking the club and Mourinho, explaining that he wanted to spend more time with his family before deciding on his next career step.
“After a lot of consideration, and with a very heavy heart, I have decided the time is right for me to move on,” he 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.
“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.”