Jose Mourinho may not have any firm guarantee from Manchester United over an alleged offer to become their manager, but he has obviously received enough encouragement to think it is a done deal.
According to The Sun, the former Chelsea manager has already turned down a mega offer from China and another from an unnamed Serie A outfit as he waits for Ed Woodward to pull the trigger on Louis van Gaal's Old Trafford reign.
It is widely believed that Mourinho has already agreed a three-year deal with the Red Devils in principle but there is still no firm answer on whether Woodward will sack Van Gaal. The bumbling chief executive seems reluctant to do so midseason but may be forced to do just that if the team's fortunes do not improve.
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The defeat against Sunderland last weekend was seen by many as the straw that broke the camel's back. It left them with little chance of breaking into the Premier League's top four, meaning Champions League football is likely to be absent for the second time in three seasons.
Manchester United could still win the Europa League, thus qualifying for Europe's elite competition whilst also breaking a three-year trophy drought. Such an instance may be enough to buy the Dutchman one more year, but it seems less than likely that he will achieve such a feat.
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Mourinho himself is obviously convinced that his dream of managing Manchester United will be fulfilled in the near future. He may well have rejected the offers from both the Chinese and the Italian club regardless, but it is, at least, an indication of his future plans. While he has already made it clear that he wants to return to management as soon as possible, he is also prepared to wait for the right post.
And Manchester United is most certainly the right post for him. It is widely believed that the Portuguese has always dreamed of managing the Red Devils and considers them to be one of the biggest clubs in the world. He is also said to have been devastated by Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to overlook him in favour of David Moyes in 2013.
Spanish journalist Diego Torres, who writes for El País, wrote in 2013: "Mourinho ... thought that Ferguson was, besides his ally, also his friend and godfather. He was convinced that they were tied by a relationship of genuine trust.
"He thought that his fabulous collection of titles constituted an 'endorsement' unreachable to any other contenders. When he knew that Ferguson had chosen Moyes, the Everton coach, he was struck by a terrible disbelief. Moyes hadn't won absolutely anything!"
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