London - Jose Mourinho was expected to become
Manchester United's new manager on Friday after reportedly agreeing a deal to
take charge at Old Trafford.
Mourinho has been in negotiations with
United since Louis van Gaal's sacking on Monday and British media reports on
Thursday claimed an agreement is now in place for the former Chelsea manager to
fulfil his long-held ambition to manage the Premier League club.
United are set to officially confirm the
53-year-old's appointment after the deal was delayed due to discussions over
Mourinho's image rights.
Mourinho is said to have been offered a
three-year contract that will pay him between 10 million ($14 million, 13
million euros) and 15 million per season.
It was also reported Mourinho, back in
management 162 days after being sacked by Chelsea in December, is set to be
given bonuses that will pay 5 million and 2.5 million respectively if he leads
United to the Champions League or Premier League title.
Talks between Mourinho's agent Jorge Mendes
and United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward have resolved problems with
Chelsea's control of his image rights, paving the way for the controversial and
charismatic boss to fulfil his long-held dream of managing the Manchester
Mourinho was seen strolling back to his
town house in the upmarket London district of Belgravia wearing a smart black
suit and clutching documents and a bag from a wine shop on Thursday, and soon
after those images emerged it was reported he had agreed the deal.
Mourinho, always hype conscious of his
public persona, was said to have spent part of Thursday crafting his message to
United fans in a statement which will accompany the club's announcement of the
The former Real Madrid, Inter Milan and
Porto boss will take charge of United for the first time when the club face
Borussia Dortmund in Shanghai on July 22 on the first leg of a two-game tour of
However, Mourinho should appear on the home
bench at Old Trafford before then because he is due to take charge of an
England XI in a charity game for Unicef against a Rest of the World XI on June
One of the main obstacles to Mourinho's
pursuits of silverware with United will be found across Manchester where his
old rival Pep Guardiola is due to start work as City manager next week after
moving to Eastlands from Bayern Munich.
Mourinho and Guardiola exchanged barbs
throughout their time at Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively and the renewal
of their bitter feud with both men in the same city promises to be one of the
most fascinating aspect of the Premier League next season.
Although United legend Eric Cantona this
week claimed Mourinho, renowned for his negative tactics, was not a good fit,
the club's former defender Rio Ferdinand was quick to welcome his impending
"I have heard many say the 'Mourinho
way' is not the Manchester United style of playing football," Ferdinand
"However, the Chelsea team that Jose
put together first time round when he entered the Premier League played with
wingers and hurt teams with quick attacking play.
"One thing I can tell Manchester
United fans is that they have got themselves a true winner in all aspects. His
CV shows success."
United icon Cristiano Ronaldo, now at Real
Madrid where he played under Mourinho, added: "I hope United get back to
being what they were because it's an impressive club but in the last years they
lacked an identity a bit.
"It hurts me seeing United like that
because it's a club I carry in my heart. I wish Mourinho can restore them back
to the top."
Mourinho is reported to already be lining
up new signings as he seeks to bolster an unbalanced squad that limped to a
fifth place finish in the Premier League before ending the unlamented Van Gaal
era by beating Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final on Saturday.
Even without the lure of Champions League
action next season, Mourinho is hopeful of making several top-class additions.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who worked with
Mourinho at Inter Milan, is one target and on Thursday he hinted a move to Old
Trafford could be on the cards.
The Sweden striker has left Paris Saint
Germain and, asked if there had been an offer from United, Ibrahimovic said
with a smile: "I think it's a great move (by United) - you want action,
you bring in Mourinho.
"I don't give guarantees but there are
concrete offers from the Premier League, so let's see what happens."