Jose Mourinho has reportedly signed a pre-contract agreement to become Manchester United’s next manager.
That is according to Spanish newspaper El Pais, who report that the Red Devils will owe Mourinho £15 million in compensation if he isn’t appointed by June 1.
Louis van Gaal’s position is on the verge of becoming untenable following a disappointing two seasons at Old Trafford. The Dutchman replaced David Moyes in 2014 but is yet to bring any silverware - or show any signs of development, for that matter - to United.
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The report in El Pais, brought to our attention by The Guardian, reads: “If United do not sign the final contract [with Mourinho] before 1 May, they must pay £5m; if by 1 June he’s still not signed, they shall pay another £10m.
“May is the key, because it’s the month in which the vast majority of the signings of players are closed and the plans formed.”
The clause has been included because senior figures at Old Trafford, including club legends Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton, remain unconvinced that Mourinho is the right man to replace the Van Gaal.
The Portuguese, out of work since his sacking by Chelsea in December, prefers a move to United, but the club’s hierarchy see his reluctance to promote youth players in his seven previous managerial positions as a turn-off, according to the Mirror.
But the £15m compensation fee suggests the club will move forward with their plans to hire Mourinho, who is also wanted by Real Madrid. The other candidate is Ryan Giggs but his inexperience could be a concern as Pep Guardiola arrives at Manchester City. And Antonio Conte, heavily linked with Chelsea, might not be far behind.
What better manager to go head-to-head with those esteemed names than Mourinho.