Man Utd legend Nicky Butt reveals how Jose Mourinho spotted Mason Greenwood in training as kid and knew he'd be star
NICKY BUTT says former Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho identified Mason Greenwood as a future first-team star when the striker was just 15-years-old.
Red Devils legend Butt has told The Athletic how the Portuguese was well aware of young players with potential at the club because he took a keen interest in United's Academy.
Butt, 46, was a teen star himself at Old Trafford as part of their fabled Class of '92 group alongside the likes of David Beckham and Ryan Giggs.
And his former role as head of first-team development at the Red Devils meant he got to work closely with Mourinho during his time as United boss between 2016 and 2018.
Butt told The Athletic: "I was his academy manager so I wondered what it would be like.
"The reality was that he spoke to me every single morning at breakfast.
"He asked me about young players, he was approachable, he was helpful.
"He was single-minded and selfish – and whether you like it or not, that’s what the best managers are.
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"He would ask me which players I wanted to move up.
"He asked, 'Who is this kid Greenwood?' when Mason was 15.
“He said 'bring him to train with us', and I said, 'We can’t, because he’s at school and there are rules and regulations'.”
Greenwood, 20, signed his first pro contract with United under Mourinho in October 2018 and began training with the first team in December that year.
He made his Red Devils debut under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in March 2019 and his performances earned him his first England cap in September 2020.
He made a blistering start to the current season with three goals in as many games for United but was a surprise omission from Gareth Southgate's latest Three Lions squad.
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