Manchester United are expecting the imminent arrival of Jose Mourinho as their new manager following the sacking of Louis Van Gaal.
Mourinho and his agent, Jorge Mendes, have been locked in talks with United representatives since Monday and it is expected that the former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter Milan boss will soon be prowling the touchline at Old Trafford.
Despite being one of the greatest managers in the game with success at every club he has been at, the expected appointment of Mourinho is dividing opinion.
Following Van Gaal’s sacking it became pretty clear that there was only one man for the job.
However, there is no doubt that ‘The Special One’ is arriving at United with a damaged reputation. His handling of the Eva Carneiro case has been made no secret as he faces allegations of discrimination and constructive dismissal. The former Chelsea physio was publically criticised and dropped from her first team duties by Mourinho in October 2015 following their 2-2 draw with Swansea at Stamford Bridge after she raced onto the pitch to treat the injured Eden Hazard.
As the case continues, Mourinho is having to rebuild his tarnished reputation both on and off the field. His recent spell at Chelsea turned toxic. After winning the Premier League in 2015, Mourinho was sacked seven months later in December, as Chelsea slumped.
Manchester United legend, Eric Cantona was one of the first to echo his concern over Mourinho. The Frenchman believes Pep Guardiola would have been a better fit before he chose to manage Manchester City. He old The Guardian: “I love Jose Mourinho, but in terms of the type of football he plays I don’t think he is Manchester United.”
The youngsters at Manchester United will also be looking over their shoulders and perhaps be a little deflated following the sacking of Van Gaal. The Dutchman gave 14 academy graduates their debuts at Old Trafford, with Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard particular highlights.
Mourinho has a history of not trusting his youngsters which was seen at Chelsea and Real Madrid. There is no doubt that Rashford and Lingard have proved themselves in the Premier League, but weather Mourinho trusts them is a different thing.
Manchester United’s Daley Blind was also sad to see his Dutch compatriot, Van Gaal leave the club. Blind, who was brought to the club by Van Gaal from Ajax was critical of the handling of his sacking. He told BBC Sport: “Over the last six months he has not been treated fairly. I think a manager like Louis Van Gaal, who has achieved so much already, deserved more respect.”
However, with Mourinho’s arrival has also sparked some excitement around Manchester. Former midfielder, Paul Scholes told BBC Surrey: “He is a top manager, he’s proven that before and hopefully he can do it again.”
He added: “The fans at Man United demand entertaining football and I’m sure Mourinho will come and try and give it.”
Meanwhile, Peter Schmeichel believes Mourinho can save’ the club. The Dane told Sky Sports News: “I always expected Jose Mourinho to have Manchester United at the top of his list - his dream job. I think he can be an absolute success.”
It is believed that Mourinho has agreed personal terms with the club as Mourinho’s representatives continue negotiations in London as they attempt to thrash out a deal which is expected to be confirmed with Jose Mourinho as the next Manchester United manager in the next 24 hours.