Football: Manchester United name Mourinho as new manager

Manchester United officially named Jose Mourinho (above) as their new manager in place of the sacked Louis van Gaal.
Manchester United officially named Jose Mourinho (above) as their new manager in place of the sacked Louis van Gaal.PHOTO: EPA

LONDON (AFP) - Manchester United on Friday officially named Jose Mourinho as their new manager in place of the sacked Louis van Gaal.

The club said in a statement that the 53-year-old Portuguese coach had signed a three-year contract with an option to stay until "at least 2020".

"To become Manchester United manager is a special honour in the game," Mourinho said. "It is a club known and admired throughout the world. There is a mystique and a romance about it which no other club can match.

"I have always felt an affinity with Old Trafford; it has hosted some important memories for me in my career and I have always enjoyed a rapport with the United fans. I'm looking forward to being their manager and enjoying their magnificent support in the coming years."

Media reports said Mourinho will earn up to £15 million (S$30.22 million) a year and will have a £200 million fund to buy players for United who failed to qualify for the Champions League with their fifth place finish in the Premier League.

"Jose is quite simply the best manager in the game today," said United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

"He has won trophies and inspired players in countries across Europe and, of course, he knows the Premier League very well, having won three titles here."

Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea in December but has established a reputation as one of the best coaches of all time.

He has won league titles and Cups in four countries with Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. He won the Champions League in 2004 with FC Porto and in 2010 with Inter Milan.