Jose Mourinho is expected to become the next Manchester United manager, but someone who knows him very well has an ominous prediction.
Frank Arnesen, Chelsea’s sporting director between 2005 and 2010, worked with Mourinho at Stamford Bridge and reckons the Portuguese will destroy United’s identity should he replace Louis van Gaal.
It has been reported that the Red Devils are hesitant to hire Mourinho, who has been available since December, due to his poor track record of developing and promoting youth players.
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United are, of course, famous for bringing academy players through to the first team. The latest to break into the starting line-up is Marcus Rashford, who has been electric since making his debut in February.
So there is certainly a clash of cultures between Mourinho and United. But the club’s hierarchy might just be in favour of putting their philosophy to one side and hiring a manager who has won titles in Portugal, England, Spain and Italy, as well as two Champions Leagues.
United have spluttered under Van Gaal. Though he has done a fine job of encouraging home-grown players, the Dutchman hasn’t installed a clear direction since joining the club in 2014.
'Mourinho is very demanding'
The Reds are in danger of missing out on the Champions League - they are fifth in the table with four games remaining - yet Arnesen wants the Glazer family to give Van Gaal one more season to turn things around.
The Dane is quoted by the Manchester Evenings News as telling Omnisport: “Mourinho is very demanding and sometimes the players can't take it.
“He made some drastic changes and it cost him.
“What would happen if they replaced Van Gaal with Mourinho? The philosophy of Manchester United will go out of the window. But maybe they are that keen to have success…”
United have fallen behind their rivals
Sir Alex Ferguson was the United manager the last time they won any silverware worth celebrating. The storied club has suffered a remarkable fall from grace.
Though they are above Liverpool in the table, the Anfield club have plenty going for them under Jurgen Klopp. Chelsea have endured a torrid season but are expected to be competitive again next season when Antonio Conte arrives.
In Pep Guardiola, Manchester City have hired the best coach in the world while Leicester and Tottenham will be hoping to prove they can be a part of the new elite.
Things aren’t so positive at Old Trafford.
United fans are unlikely to agree with how Arnesen thinks the board should react to this season.
“Van Gaal could not buy all his players, but he has done tremendously well with the young kids," he added.
"Manchester United should give him at least one year more."