Mourinho set to land dream job after van Gaal exit
JOSE Mourinho is on the verge of fulfilling his dream of managing Manchester United after Louis van Gaal's troubled two-year reign at Old Trafford came to a bitter end.
Van Gaal said he was "very disappointed" to be sacked on Monday just 48 hours after leading United to victory in the FA Cup final against Crystal Palace.
Missing out on a lucrative Champions League place proved the final straw for the club's United States-based owners, the Glazer family. And they did not let United's first piece of silverware since the 2013 retirement of legendary boss Alex Ferguson stop them from wielding the axe.
With van Gaal having cleared out his desk at United's Carrington training ground after talks over a settlement for the final year of his three-year contract, which had been worth a reported £6.4 million (S$12.8 million) a year, the path was clear for former Chelsea manager Mourinho to be confirmed as the new United boss yesterday.
He was sacked by Chelsea in December after a miserable campaign marred by rifts with the club's star players.
That eventually became intolerable to owner Roman Abramovich as the team, champions just months earlier, languished near the relegation zone.
Now, the 53-year-old will hope to restore his reputation by restoring the sparkle to the Red Devils' own tarnished image.
Mourinho's agent, Jorge Mendes, was said to be arriving in Manchester yesterday to tie up a deal that has been widely reported in the British media, setting the stage for one of the sport's most intriguing characters to at last manage United after a glittering career that so far features 21 major trophies.
These include three Premier League crowns and two Champions League titles.
Former United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel believes Mourinho is the right man to get the club back on track.
"On the top of Mourinho's list was always Manchester United, now he has the opportunity," he told the BBC.
"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."