Mourinho bound for Old Trafford, says Inter director

LONDON • Jose Mourinho has agreed a deal to succeed Louis van Gaal as Manchester United's manager, according to Inter Milan director Bedy Moratti.

Van Gaal, who faced renewed criticism from former United defender Rio Ferdinand on Saturday, has been beset by persistent speculation about losing his job to Mourinho. Thursday's humiliating Europa League defeat at Midtjylland further weakened his position with reports of an emerging dressing-room rebellion among senior players.

Moratti, sister of the former Inter president Massimo, was doorstepped on Saturday by the Italian media at a lunch attended by Mourinho, who guided Inter to a famous treble in 2010.

Asked whether the club missed him, she said: "He's missed as a person, but right now he's happy, he's going to Manchester."

Mourinho had attended Inter's game against Sampdoria as a guest of the Moratti family. There is no suggestion, however, that Mourinho might return to Inter.

While Ed Woodward, United's executive vice-chairman, continues to deliberate over sacking van Gaal, Ferdinand added to the chorus of disapproval from former players, posting on Twitter: "Given LVG loads of time. The team have gone backwards since his arrival. The style of football has no resemblance to @manutd at all."

Mourinho, linked with United since the turn of the year, told La Stampa last week: "My next club? I do not know, but one thing is certain - I love football and I will return with the same passion I've always had. I'm not looking for a club - but there are clubs that are looking for me."

However, David Moyes, who was sacked 10 months after replacing Ferguson, has said United should not dismiss van Gaal.

"I don't think Manchester United should become a sacking club," the Scot said on the BBC.

"I was disappointed when I lost my job after 10 months and Manchester United have always stood for much greater things than sacking their manager regularly. I don't think they should (sack van Gaal)."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 22, 2016, with the headline 'Mourinho bound for Old Trafford, says Inter director'. Print Edition | Subscribe