Jose Mourinho to Manchester United: 'Gentleman's agreement' in place to replace Louis van Gaal

Ed Woodward, however, remains reluctant to sack current incumbent Louis van Gaal until the end of the season

Mark Critchley
Monday 22 February 2016 08:47
Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho is under the impression that he has ‘a gentleman’s agreement’ with Ed Woodward to become Manchester United’s next manager, according to reports.

The former Chelsea manager is yet to sign a pre-contract arrangement with the club and his agent, Jorge Mendes, would prefer him to take over before the end of the season.

Woodward, the club’s executive vice-chairman, remains reluctant to sack current incumbent Louis van Gaal until the end of the season, having personally chosen the Dutchman to replace David Moyes just under two years ago.

However, according to the Manchester Evening News, Mourinho is confident that he will replace his friend Van Gaal at the Old Trafford helm.

Woodward, the club’s executive vice-chairman, reportedly contacted Mendes in the hours immediately after Thursday’s Europa League defeat at Midtjylland to ensure Mourinho’s intentions had not changed.

As revealed by The Independent, Ryan Giggs is the preferred candidate of former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, his one-time chief executive David Gill and the ‘Class of ‘92’ group.

This group, characterised as representative of the ‘old’ United, are believed to be becoming marginalised within the club as support for Mourinho among other officials grows.

Mourinho revisited Internazionale this weekend but told reporters that he would not be re-joining his former club and lent his support to current head coach Roberto Mancini.

"There is one thing I want to clarify, I will not be directing things over there next season. Inter already have a project that belongs to Roberto Mancini and (president) Erick Thohir," he said.

"Their ideas have my full support and I hope their plans are successful. I want to see Inter fans smiling again and so I hope to witness a victory tomorrow.”

The Portuguese coach was non-committal when questioned on his next destination and reiterated his respect for “every coach at every club”.

Bedy Moratti, sister of Inter’s former president Massimo Moratti and a club director, told reporters that Mourinho was “going to Manchester” this weekend.

Moratti was door stepped by reporters after dining with Mourinho in Milan and said: "We had a good time, he's great. He's missed as a person, but right now he's happy, he's going to Manchester."

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments