Jose Mourinho has told Manchester United they have until the start of May to offer him a formal deal or risk losing him to another club.
According to the Guardian, Mourinho is keen to replace Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford but is mindful of the fact that he has nothing but a gentleman's agreement with executive Ed Woodward.
It is widely believed that Van Gaal is facing the sack if the Red Devils fail to qualify for the Champions League. But they currently sit just one point behind fourth-placed Manchester City, meaning the Dutchman has every chance of earning a stay of execution.
That has left Mourinho worried. He has been out of work since December and is keen to get a new job ahead of next season. As a result, the Special One is turning up the heat on Manchester United, telling them he will start to talk to other clubs if he has not received a concrete offer by the start of next month.
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So far, Woodward has stuck by Van Gaal with some believing only a close relationship between their wives has saved the Dutchman up to this point. However, the situation is further complicated by an apparent split over Mourinho's potential arrival.
It has been suggested that Sir Alex Ferguson is one of the main opposers to Mourinho's appointment and suggested as much after giving his full backing to Van Gaal in a recent interview.
End for Giggs
But it also seems clear that the club's future is very much clouded in Woodward's mind. Hiring Mourinho would be a break away from the club's planned line of succession.
Ryan Giggs, currently the assistant manager to Van Gaal, has been earmarked as a future manager, but Mourinho's arrival would almost certainly spell an end to the Welshman's association. The Portuguese would demand the arrival of his ever-present assistant Rui Faria as part of his package.
Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon believes Mourinho will become the next manager of the La Liga outfit if he does not join Manchester United.
Mourinho was the last man to bring the Spanish title to the Bernabeu in a semi-successful three-year spell that ended in 2013. Despite an acrimonious departure, Calderon believes he would be current president Florentino Perez's first choice.
“If Mourinho doesn't sign for Manchester United, he will be Real Madrid's next coach. I am completely sure of that,” Calderon told Mundo Deportivo.
“If the team doesn't win anything, sadly, we'll be seeing Mourinho on the bench again. That's my feeling.”