Jose Mourinho has been described as ‘convinced’ he will replace Louis van Gaal at Manchester United in the latest round of reports linking the Portuguese with Old Trafford.
The Independent on Sunday revealed that Mourinho, who left Chelsea in December, was ‘confident’ of becoming the new manager at United but the Daily Mirror and Daily Telegraph have gone one step further this morning, claiming the 53-year-old has told friends he will take over.
The Red Devils have refused to deny reports they have held discussions with Mourinho as Van Gaal’s tenure fizzles out into failure. No deal has been struck between the pair and United reportedly remain tentatively interested in Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.
A well-placed source told the Telegraph: “Mourinho's going to Manchester United. It’s a done deal. Chelsea is the only big job up for grabs.”
United have been forced to act after Manchester City attracted Pep Guardiola to take over from Manuel Pellegrini at the end of the season. Mourinho and Guardiola shared a fierce rivalry during their time in Spain, as Real Madrid and Barcelona managers respectively, and the former is keen to reignite that feud in Manchester.
While doubts about Mourinho’s behaviour and playing style persist among members of the United boardroom, the fear that City may soon dominate English and European football has become serious.
Van Gaal recently criticised a journalist for ‘inventing’ stories after the 1-1 draw with Chelsea. “Why do the club have to deny it when you are creating stories? Okay, okay, so you haven't spoken to Ed Woodward or the Glazers, so you are inventing this story. I don't have to answer this question.
“Maybe I say you are getting the sack tomorrow. What is your name? Then I can announce the name also. Look at your wife, or maybe you have children, or a nephew or something like that.”
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