LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester United assistant manager Rui Faria will leave Old Trafford at the end of the season, the Premier League club said on Saturday.
British media reported that the 42-year-old Faria is on Arsenal’s shortlist to replace Arsene Wenger, who will leave the north London club after almost 22 years in charge.
Portuguese Faria has worked with United manager Jose Mourinho since 2001 and they have won 25 trophies together with six clubs.
“After a lot of consideration, and with a very heavy heart, I have decided the time is right for me to move on,” Faria told United’s website.
“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.”
Mourinho paid tribute to his long-time partner.
“The intelligent student is now a football expert, ready for a successful career as a manager,” he said.
“17 years… in Leiria, Porto, London, Milan, Madrid, London again and Manchester. Training, playing, travelling, studying, laughing and also a few tears of happiness. Seventeen years and the kid is now a man.”
Mourinho said he would miss his friend.
“That is the hardest thing for me but his happiness is more important and, of course, I respect his decision. Be happy, brother,” he said.
Reporting by Peter Hall, editing by Ed Osmond