One day, long after the heat death of the universe. the José Mourinho to Manchester United story will finally come to a conclusion.
The “will they/won’t they” element of this deal means that nobody outside of the club hierarchy knows for sure whether or not the former Chelsea manager will be replacing Louis van Gaal in the Old Trafford dugout next season, according to Mark Ogden of the Independent even they themselves aren’t sure.
Van Gaal’s restrictive tactics, coupled with the fact that qualification for next season’s Champions League is looking on particularly shaky ground, have led to the Glazers putting plans in place to compensate the 64 year old for the last year of his contract and sending him on his merry way.
This morning, the Mirror are going with the line that Mourinho will be Manchester United boss next season – and that not even an FA cup win can save the Dutchman.
What is more – and a far greater development – the report states that the more vocal opponents to Mourinho’s appointment, namely Sirs Bobby Charlton and Alex Ferguson, have relaxed their stance on the matter and now fully accept that change is necessary for the club to regain its place at the pinnacle of domestic and European football.
Ferguson and Charlton had been strongly against the appointment of Mourinho as they believe his poor track record of youth development would go against everything the club stands for. Young stars such as Marcus Rashord and Timothy Fosu-Mensah have emerged this season and the worry is that Mourinho would neglect the the prospects in favour of older players – such was his preference at Chelsea.
The pair had been pushing hard for the club to appoint stalwart Ryan Giggs – in fact, just yesterday, Spanish daily Marca (in a report cited by Bleacher Report) were reporting that Giggs was set to beat Mourinho to the job.
Ferguson and Charlton’s opposition made the club reluctant to hand Mourinho the keys to the kingdom – boardroom civil war is the type of thing that reflects badly on a club – but if everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet then a deal can be done much faster.
The legends acquiescence in the matter leaves the door wide open for Mourinho to take charge – assuming PSG or Real Madrid don’t swoop in at the last minute of course, which remains a distinct possibility. Given Mourinho’s general restlessness surrounding this deal, it would not be a massive shock to see him rock up at Madrid or Paris if he feels that Manchester United are looking in a different direction.
This, of course, in confirmation of nothing. José Mourinho patently wants the job – and has done for some time – but he is not prepared to wait around forever.
Either way, do not expect this one to be resolved any time soon.