Manchester United have denied having a pre-contract agreement with Jose Mourinho, who is expected to be appointed as their new manager following Louis van Gaal’s exit.
Van Gaal parted company with United on Monday evening following widespread reports his future was in jeopardy despite leading the side to FA Cup glory at Wembley on Saturday.
The Dutchman failed to clinch Champions League qualification this season and came under significant pressure for his side’s style of football.
Sources have told ESPN FC that Mourinho has agreed a deal to become United’s next boss and is expected to be officially appointed by the club this week once the finer points of his appointment are settled and he signs a contract.
It was reported by the Daily Mail that United paid Mourinho, who had been linked with Paris Saint-Germain, £4 million not to take a job elsewhere as they decided the fate of Van Gaal.
However, a spokesman told The Times: “It is completely untrue that there was any pre-contract agreement or any payment to any person in connection with the manager’s position.”
Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea in December following a poor defence of their 2014-15 Premier League title.
Sources have also told ESPN FC that Van Gaal’s assistant, Ryan Giggs, is considering his future as he is set to be offered a different role.
Mourinho is a “very intense guy” who will want to bring in the players that he wants, if he takes over at Old Trafford, according to former Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins.
Wilkins, who played for United between 1979 and 1984, believes that it would be the right move for the former Stamford Bridge boss following Van Gaal’s departure.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Wilkins said: “Whilst he’s been out of the game, he’ll have been around the world, looking at players, and assessing what he can do if he gets back in at a club. I think he’ll want to do it his way. He’ll want to do it his way. He’ll want to bring in the players he wants. He’s a very intense guy.”
When asked whether United should appoint Mourinho, Wilkins replied: “I think it’s the right move. I think it’s the only move for them. He will get them playing, he will get them winning again.
“He is a winner, there are no two ways about it. When he goes in, the club normally wins a big trophy, the first couple of years that he’s there.
“He is very clever. When he first started off, when he took Porto to the Champions League final and won it, that was remarkable. He only had one or two world class players in that side.”
The 59-year-old former England midfielder, who won the FA Cup while he was a player at United, is not enamoured by the way the club treated Van Gaal, though. He believes that United should have acted in the way that Manchester City did, when confirming their own managerial change.
Wilkins said: “It’s been a just a tad disrespectful, as far as Van Gaal is concerned. Decisions should have been made and United should have come out and said what the situation was.
“I thought the way City dealt with the [Manuel] Pellegrini situation was spot on. He wasn’t going to be there, the rumours were rife that [Pep] Guardiola was going to take over, and I thought they handled that in the best possible fashion.”
Meanwhile, former United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel said that recruiting Mourinho is a brave move. The Dane, who won 15 trophies while playing for United between 1991 and 1999, pointed out the number of fall-outs that the Portuguese has had.
Schmeichel told BBC Radio 5 Live: “Mourinho is not an easy call to make for the owners and leaders because if he was the right man, he would have been picked before.
“He has fallen out with a director of football at a club, a president, a team doctor. He has done things that are not in the way Manchester United wants the football club to run.
“All these issues would have been brought up and I am sure it will have been run by Alex Ferguson and Bobby Charlton. Without them saying ‘yes’ to him, it would not happen. Therefore, if he comes in he is a good choice.
“He will be prepared and ready to do it but he has to go back to the values of the football club — a very strong team consisting of exciting players which are creating chances and scoring goals. All that has been missing.
“Now they have a guy that is supposed to be the biggest manager in the world, the one that really could save Manchester United. It has been a brave decision but one that is long overdue.”
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