Jose Mourinho marked his first day at his new Manchester United office on Monday.
The Portuguese, who agreed a three-year deal at Old Trafford last week, is wasting no time getting accustomed to his new role, and was shown around by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
But, though he was the fans’ choice, one man who was perceived to be disgruntled at Mourinho’s appointment is club legend Sir Bobby Charlton.
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The 1966 World Cup winner has expressed his dissatisfaction with Mourinho’s style in the past and so many expected an awkward meeting when Charlton met Louis van Gaal’s replacement at United’s Carrington base.
Yet their embrace proved to be anything but. Mourinho joked: “You killed my country’s dream in 1966 but even so, all the best,” per the Daily Mail.
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Charlton replied: “I am very happy to see you.”
Clearly, the hatchet has been buried.
Charlton wanted Giggs
It is understood that Charlton, who won the European Cup with United in 1968, wanted to see Ryan Giggs appointed United boss. The Welshman has spent the last three years as an assistant first to David Moyes and then Van Gaal, and might have become United manager had Mourinho not been available.
Giggs knows the club inside out, having spent over two decades in the first team, but it remains unclear whether he will remain at Old Trafford now.
In his head, Charlton probably knows that Mourinho is the right choice. The 53-year-old’s resume is hugely impressive and the Red Devils have pulled off a real coup in hiring him.
Mourinho’s mission is to return United to the heights they were used to when Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge. In order to do that, he must strengthen a squad that finished fifth in the Premier League and failed to qualify for the Champions League.
The Daily Mail link United with moves for Roma defender Kostas Manolas, Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez and Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
And Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata got United fans listening when he admitted in an interview with AS that he has some “tempting” offers from England.
Mourinho v Guardiola
With Pep Guardiola not arriving at Manchester City until July 1, Mourinho has a month’s head start on his rival. Many expect both Manchester clubs to go head-to-head for next season’s title in what promises to be an exciting battle between two of football’s finest tacticians.
Money will be spent and blows will be traded. It’s not just Charlton who is very happy to see Mourinho at United, but Premier League fans eager to see the former Real Madrid manager reignite his rivalry with Guardiola.