Manchester United have moved to assure Jose Mourinho that he will become their new manager in the summer, according to The Sun.
The Portuguese manager has been widely tipped to take over from Louis van Gaal this summer but has nothing official to show for it. But weeks have passed since the first contact was allegedly made.
It is believed that Old Trafford officials simply told Mourinho to keep himself available until the end of the season on the off chance that they wanted to sack Van Gaal. It had been suggested that the Dutchman will keep his job if United can force themselves into the Premier League's top four.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article: https://gms.to/haveyoursay4
That has left the Special One, who has already declared his desire to return to management before next season, with a dilemma. Manchester United have no obligation to hire Mourinho and could just as easily end their interest.
There is, allegedly, a feeling amongst some of the board members, including Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill, that hiring Mourinho would be a definitive move away for United's core values. Indeed, it has been suggested that young players like Marcus Rashford and Timothy Fosu-Mensah will not get a chance under the former Chelsea manager.
But enough context. This latest report from The Sun's Neil Custis has claimed that talks between the men who matter at Manchester United have reassured Mourinho that he is still in line to land his dream job.
Advanced talks have been taking place in the last 48 hours and it is believed an actual agreement is very close. Mourinho will be offered a three-year deal worth £60million, making him the highest paid manager in football history.
Mourinho would have sought assurances that United will not look at alternative options with reports linking them with an interest in PSG boss Laurent Blanc and Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino. The latter has emerged as one of the brightest young managers in world football after a successful season at White Hart Lane.
It would have sounded worrying echoes for Mourinho, who was sure he would be offered the Manchester United job after Ferguson retired in 2013, only to be left shocked when David Moyes was chosen instead.
However, any doubts that Mourinho had over whether he is their first choice or not were cleared up in this week's meetings with Woodward.
Despite an FA Cup final in the offing, the majority of fans still want Van Gaal gone at the end of the season. United have had a highly uninspiring season under the former Bayern Munich manager and he is set to depart after two years in charge.