Jose Mourinho can bring composure and steel back to Manchester United if the club turn to him to replace Louis van Gaal at the end of the season.
The Portuguese, who has been out of work since leaving Chelsea back in December, is reportedly the Red Devils’ top pick to succeed the Dutchman as they seek to respond to Manchester City’s appointment of Pep Guardiola.
United's harrowing 2-1 defeat at Sunderland on Saturday afternoon is exactly the kind of submissive performance Mourinho could stamp out of a squad looking devoid of confidence at present.
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The Red Devils have been stuttering under Van Gaal ever since he replaced David Moyes in the summer of 2014, and his failure to win a trophy as yet is just one of many reasons fans are so desperate to see the back of him this summer.
The club finished fourth last year, but that was the least they could acceptably achieve given the staggering amount of money invested in new signings.
Moreover, their exit from the Champions League group stage in December suggests they could face another long wait before challenging for Europe’s top-tier competition.
Saturday's crippling defeat at the Stadium of Light means United have lost further ground in the race for a top-four finish having taken a single point from Chelsea and Southampton during the last fortnight.
Regardless of whether Mourinho does come in the summer, the club may struggle to entice top names to Old Trafford without the incentive of Champions League football.
For all of the controversy that muddies his name, Mourinho is a serial winner and his sides are renowned for being difficult to crack once they are in full swing.
His Chelsea team that won the Premier League title back in 2005 lost just once in their 38 matches while conceding a mere 15 goals along the way.
His other title-winning teams at Inter Milan and Real Madrid were just as solid, with the treble-winning Inter side of 2010 proving Mourinho is more than capable of edging out Pep Guardiola for the biggest trophies on offer.
While Mourinho is still far from certain to be the United manager next season, he is widely considered the favourite to succeed Van Gaal despite the Dutchman’s protestations to the contrary.
Ryan Giggs’ name has also been whispered as has Atletico Madrid's Diego Simeone – but Mourinho is the one with the best chance of ending the club’s agonising wait for the first trophy of the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.
Could Mourinho lead United to Champions League glory next season? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!