Jose Mourinho is reportedly closing in on the Manchester United job. Louis van Gaal may well be at the helm, but that hasn't stopped the press all but confirming that the self-proclaimed 'Special One' is set to replace the experienced Dutchman as the new manager of the Red Devils.
But it appears that Mourinho hasn't signed on the dotted line just yet. In fact, the Manchester Evening News has revealed that the Portuguese tactician is only convinced that he will get the top job in Manchester if the club fail to secure a place in the top four of the Premier League.
If United fail to do that then they will ultimately miss out on a place in next year's Champions League competition - unless they manage to win the Europa League, of course.
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Understandably, then, Van Gaal must fulfil the requirement of achieving a place in the top-four, but it's not going to be easy for his side at this stage in the season.
Indeed, United currently sit in fifth place in the Premier League table - six points behind fourth-placed Manchester City. North London duo Tottenham and Arsenal sit in second and third place respectively while Leicester City are flying at the top of the Premier League.
Top four won't be easy
It has long been believed that the Foxes would eventually fall away at the summit of the division, but they are showing no signs of slowing down. In truth, it's going to take one almighty turnaround for the Red Devils to make up 12 points on the current league leaders.
After failing to secure all three points at Stamford Bridge last Sunday - enigmatic striker Diego Costa scored a late equaliser for Chelsea - United have to find consistency in their results sooner rather than later. They absolutely have to beat Sunderland on Saturday.
Failure at Old Trafford this season looks set to lead the club to Mourinho, who has been out of work since his dismissal from Chelsea earlier this season.
But would Mourinho be the right man to take United forward? Well, it would be a risk, but any appointment would be scrutinised by pundits and fans alike.
It's certainly clear that Mourinho has a point to prove; he will be desperate to make amends after such a turbulent period in west London and once again prove himself as one of the most revered and established managers in world football.
It wouldn't necessarily be a disaster for United if they missed out on elite European football for next season. It would hand Mourinho the opportunity to put together his own side and set them up correctly in pursuit of long-term success.
Manchester United fans: should Mourinho replace Van Gaal at the end of the season? Have your say below!
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