Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand believes the club have got themselves “a true winner” after securing Jose Mourinho as their next manager, with the former Chelsea boss meeting with United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward on Thursday to put pen to paper on a three-year contract.
The Independent understands that the deal to see Mourinho succeed Louis van Gaal as manager has been completed, despite an ongoing dispute with Chelsea over the rights to Mourinho’s name. The club are yet to formally announce that Mourinho has taken the job, but a statement could be released by the weekend to confirm the acquisition.
After news broke on Thursday of the agreement, 37-year-old Ferdinand took to his Facebook page to congratulate the Portuguese for taking charge of “the biggest club in the world” and allayed fears from nervous fans that suggested Mourinho wasn’t the right manager to bring in by noting his previous record.
"Congratulations to Jose on being announced manager of the biggest club in the world!” wrote Ferdinand.
"This is Jose Mourinho's most exciting & most challenging job yet.
"One thing I can tell Manchester United fans is that they have got themselves a true winner in all aspects. His CV shows success!
"After his recent unsuccessful time at Chelsea in the final year, I can assure you this winner is now a wounded animal which makes him such a mouthwatering appointment. Jose went from winning the League cup & Premier League to a season of disappointment at Chelsea and I am certain he will want to restore all of that very quickly."
Mourinho has enjoyed phenomenal success since making his name with Porto in 2003/04, where he won the Champions League as well as with Inter Milan in 2009/2010. Mourinho also has the accolade of winning the league title within the first two seasons of any club he has managed, having topped the table in Portugal, Italy, Spain and England on multiple occasions.
Ferdinand went up against Mourinho on a number of occasions in the red of United during the manager’s first spell in charge with Chelsea as well as upon his return during the 2013/14 season, and the former England international offered his advice to Mourinho on which areas of the squad need strengthening urgently – not in the transfer window but in the way the side approach matches.
"The first thing he needs to do is install 'winning mentality' back into the club,” Ferdinand added. “Get this ingredient back into the players but also the people that work inside the club day to day. Give them back that belief so it is breathing throughout the club again, which is so important. But doing the above in the Manchester United way is equally as important."
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