Jose Mourinho looks set to be confirmed as the next manager of Manchester United, according to widespread reports in the UK media.
Mourinho has been strongly linked with the Old Trafford post in recent weeks, with the Sunday World reporting last weekend that he only gave permission for his advisers to open talks with Old Trafford chiefs when current United boss Louis van Gaal indicated he was ready to step down at the end of this season.
Van Gaal continues to insist publicly that he will not walk away from United ahead of the end of his contract in 2017, but Old Trafford insiders suspect that a decision has already been made to bring down the curtain on his decorated career next May.
Now it seems as if the negotiations that were revealed between United and Mourinho’s advisers last week have stepped up a pace, with some reports claiming the former Chelsea boss has told friends that his next job will be as Van Gaal’s successor.
A report on Tuesday had claimed that Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino was being considered as a contender to take the United job, but the Argentine tactician has made it clear that he has no intention of leaving his current post any time soon.
That left the path clear for Mourinho to take on the United job, with his desire to remain in English football confirmed in his interview with GQ magazine earlier this week.
“To be fully happy I need everything, so I go back to football. I think it’s my natural habitat. I have worked since I can remember, and as a manager since 2000. For sure, I will be back soon,” he stated.
“At this moment I don’t have a job, and I don’t know where football will take me, because in football you never know. But for sure — for sure, for sure — as a family, our home will still be England.”
Mourinho’s apparent imminent arrival at United sets up the prospect of a renewal of his bitter rivalry with old foe Pep Guardiola in recent years, as the latter has been confirmed as Man City boss for next season.