Jose Mourinho has demanded “firmer guarantees” that he will become the next Manchester United manager after being left “rattled” by Louis van Gaal’s admission that he helped prepare the club’s pre-season tour schedule.
This is according to the Manchester Evening News, who understand that Mourinho is also perturbed by reports claiming Van Gaal is working on deals for potential summer signings.
To ensure United are serious about giving him the manager’s job, Mourinho has instructed his agent Jorge Mendes to speak to the Red Devils’ executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward later this week.
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Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf caused a stir on Tuesday after reporting that Van Gaal has been given assurances over his future at Old Trafford and has even been handed a €100 million transfer kitty for the summer.
Manchester United fans reacted badly to the story on social media - and it seems Mourinho has also been left irked.
Mourinho believes he has 'gentleman’s agreement'
The M.E.N first reported in February that Mourinho believes he has a “gentleman’s agreement” to replace Van Gaal this summer.
This was around the same time that United had suffered humiliating back-to-back defeats against Sunderland and European minnows Midtjylland.
Results have improved for Van Gaal
United were knocked out of the Europa League by fierce rivals Liverpool last month but results have improved for Van Gaal of late, prompting speculation that he could see out the third and final year of his contract.
The veteran Dutch coach, 64, masterminded a surprise 1-0 win over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium before the international break and followed that up with a 1-0 win over Everton at Old Trafford last Sunday.
United now sit fifth in the Premier League table, one point behind fourth-placed Man City, with seven matches remaining.
United have to keep Van Gaal happy
A top-four finish was the absolute minimum requirement for Van Gaal this season, but the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich head coach has his work cut out to achieve that pre-season objective.
It’s possible that Woodward believes it would be counter-productive for United’s chances of securing Champions League football by confirming Mourinho will replace Van Gaal this summer.
Keeping Van Gaal happy and focused until the end of the season could work in the Red Devils’ favour.
But surely Woodward won’t risk missing out on the opportunity of appointing Mourinho, one of the world’s best coaches, by allowing Van Gaal to see out the final year of his deal.
Manchester United fans: would it be a disaster if Louis van Gaal is still in charge of your club next season? Let us know by leaving a comment below.