It appears that Jose Mourinho is edging closer to being confirmed as the next manager at Manchester United with sources close to the former Chelsea boss claiming that it's almost a "done deal."
But it won’t be all plain-sailing for the Portuguese manager at Old Trafford if he does take over from Louis van Gaal at the end of the season.
The club have been nowhere near a title challenge in the previous three campaigns and Mourinho will have to sort out these five problems if he is to be successful at the Red Devils:
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1. Can he play attacking football?
“Attack, attack, attack, attack, attack.”
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A chant often heard at United matches this season thanks to Van Gaal’s slightly negative tactics. Is Mourinho the man to play the entertaining, attacking football that their fans are looking for? Well, he didn’t for Chelsea so it’s unlikely he will for United. How will the Red Devils fans react to more negative football next season?
2. How will he deal with Juan Mata?
Mourinho surprisingly sold Mata when he was Chelsea boss in January 2014 after the Spaniard had won Player of the Year for the club in the previous two seasons. It’s believed that Mourinho wasn’t impressed with Mata’s lack of defensive ability and rarely gave the talented midfielder a chance at Stamford Bridge. Will he look to offload him at Old Trafford?
3. How long will he last at the club?
United need a manager who wants to be there for the long-haul. Sir Alex Ferguson lasted 26 years and, despite a slow start, ended up winning 13 league titles. His successor, David Moyes, lasted 11 months while Van Gaal looks to be heading for the door after just two years. They need stability but Mourinho hasn’t lasted more than three seasons in any single spell. Not quite the long-term appointment United need.
4. How will United fans react to him?
Who remembers Mourinho’s celebration at Old Trafford in 2004 when Porto scored a last minute goal in the Champions League to send them through? He ran down the touchline to join in the mass bundle in the corner much to the anger of the United fans.
After that Porto win he said:
“I understand why he is a bit emotional,” said Mourinho of Ferguson. “He has some of the top players in the world and they should be doing a lot better than that. You would be sad if your team gets as clearly dominated by opponents who have been built on 10% of the budget.”
His feud with United - and Ferguson - continued during his Chelsea days as the two sides fought it out for the title.
5. What happens with Ryan Giggs?
It has been reported that Mourinho is keen to make Rui Faria his assistant manager at United. Faria has worked with Mourinho at Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Chelsea once again and it looks as though they will be working together again at Old Trafford. But where does that leave Ryan Giggs? He is currently Van Gaal’s number two and it would be difficult to see him remain at the club in a lesser role. What would United make of Mourinho letting go a club legend?