LONDON (AFP) – Jose Mourinho has agreed to become the new manager of Manchester United, according to British media reports on Thursday (May 26).
Mourinho has been in negotiations with United since Louis van Gaal’s sacking on Monday and it is understood an agreement is now in place for the former Chelsea manager to take charge at Old Trafford.
The 53-year-old is reportedly yet to sign a contract, but official confirmation from United is expected by Friday after the deal was delayed due to discussions over Mourinho’s image rights.
Mourinho is said to have been offered a three-year contract that will pay him £10 million (S$20 million) per season, which is double the salary earned by Van Gaal during his troubled two-year reign.
It was also reported Mourinho, who was sacked by Chelsea in December, is set to be given bonuses that will pay £5 million and £2.5 million respectively if he leads United to the Champions League or Premier League title.
It emerged Chelsea had owned Mourinho’s name as a trademark since 2005 and could demand a six-figure sum from United before his new club were able to use it to sell merchandise such as toiletries, technology, clothing and jewellery.
There was also a potential conflict between Mourinho’s personal deals and United’s own sponsors because the Portuguese coach has contracts with Jaguar and Hublot Watches, while United’s shirts sponsors are Chevrolet and they also have an arrangement with watchmaker Bulova.
But talks between Mourinho’s agent Jorge Mendes and United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward are believed to have resolved those problems and look to have paved the way for the controversial and charismatic boss to fulfil his long-held dream of managing the Manchester giants.
Mourinho was seen strolling back to his town house in the upmarket London district of Belgravia wearing a smart black suit and clutching documents on Thursday and soon after those images emerged it was reported he had agreed the deal.
Assuming there is no last minute hitch, the former Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Porto boss will take charge of United for the first time when the club face Borussia Dortmund in Shanghai on July 22 on the first leg of two-game tour of China.
However, Mourinho should appear on the home bench at Old Trafford before then because he is due to take charge of an England XI in a charity game for Unicef against a Rest of the World XI on June 5.
Fittingly, Mourinho seems to have sealed his United move on the same date he won his first Champions League title with Porto in 2004.
It was also the day United won the treble under Alex Ferguson in 1999 and the day the club’s legendary former manager Matt Busby was born in 1909.