Win-win deal for Mourinho at United

MADRID • Jose Mourinho has signed a pre-contract agreement with Manchester United with a view to replacing Louis van Gaal as manager of the English football giants next season, El Pais reported yesterday.

Citing sources from Gestifute, the football agency owned by Mourinho's representative Jorge Mendes, the Spanish newspaper suggests a deal has been struck that could see the former Chelsea boss make £15 million (S$29.5 million), even if he does not end up taking charge at Old Trafford.

If United do not complete the deal by May 1, Mourinho will be entitled to £5 million compensation and should negotiations drag on beyond June 1 or break down, the 20-time English champions would owe the Portuguese a further £10 million.

Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea in December after losing nine out the first 16 games of their Premier League defence.

"I look forward to the future," he told BT Sport this week. "I want my football back, time flies and July will be just around the corner."

Van Gaal is under mounting pressure if he is to see out the final season of a three-year deal he signed in 2014.

United face an uphill battle to make it into next season's Champions League via a top-four finish in the Premier League. They sit sixth, four points behind Manchester City in fourth, ahead of their trip to City yesterday.

The report also said United wanted a flexible deal because of a split in the Old Trafford board as to whether Mourinho was the right choice for the club.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2016, with the headline 'Win-win deal for Mourinho at United'. Print Edition | Subscribe