On the face of it, Jose Mourinho and Manchester United aren’t a great mix.
United have a long-standing reputation as a well-respected club; Mourinho has courted controversy at every club he’s managed.
The Reds Devils have a fine tradition of developing homegrown players; the Portuguese cannot claim to have nurtured many young players in any of his seven stints as a manager.
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But according to the Telegraph’s Sam Wallace, Mourinho is taking steps to ensure he gets the job as United manager, which was today put in doubt by Spanish outlet Marca.
In his second spell as Chelsea boss, the 53-year-old sent a number of youth players out on loan, while his decision to sell Kevin De Bruyne at the age of 22 has proven to be a terrible move as he continues to shine in a Manchester City shirt.
Mourinho can take credit for Kurt Zouma’s promotion to the first-team but he was a £12 million signing from St Etienne.
And though Louis van Gaal’s job security is hanging by a thread, he is responsible for overseeing Marcus Rashford and Timothy Fosu-Mensah’s progression from the academy to the first-team.
In Wallace’s report, he states that Mourinho is aware of his reputation for not favouring young players. The former Real Madrid chief even believes it is affecting his chances of getting the United role.
“There is an issue at play for Mourinho, and the understanding is that it has gone beyond an irritation to become something that he believes is damaging the reputation that he has nurtured since he took his first steps in football as a youth team coach at Vitoria de Setubal in 1989,” Wallace wrote.
“That is the criticism he does not select, develop and integrate young players into his teams, and that it may yet cost him the United job.
“Certainly, the issue has been considered serious enough that Mourinho’s old confidante from his Benfica days, Eladio Parames, a former press officer and journalist, wrote a defence of his friend’s record in the Daily Star last month.
Parames, hardly trying to disguise his ultimate target, wrote: ‘Does anybody believe that [Marcus] Rashford would play if Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial and Marouane Fellaini weren’t also in the Carrington Hospital [sic]?’”
Glazer's prefer Giggs
According to Marca, United’s owners are preparing to promote Ryan Giggs to the manager’s role if Van Gaal departs in the summer.
The Glazer family have reportedly “taken steps” to put Giggs in charge, leaving Mourinho to ponder his next move.
The former Inter Milan coach has been available since December, around the same time discontent arose among United fans with Van Gaal.
So it’s clear United’s hierarchy do have concerns over Mourinho’s style otherwise they would have appointed the two-time Champions League winner already.
The Red Devils have a big decision to make. Despite Mourinho’s flaws, they will be passing up on one of the best managers in the game if they snub him.