Mourinho to replace LVG

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LONDON. — Jose Mourinho has agreed a deal to replace Louis van Gaal at Manchester United. That’s according to at least one high-profile football figure, who is describing it privately as a “done deal” and that he will be appointed manager of Manchester United in the summer.

Mourinho has been out of work since he was sacked by Chelsea in December, but it is widely known he would relish the chance to take over at United.

The move will bring to an end Van Gaal’s troubled two-year reign at the club.

Now he has told associates that the move to Old Trafford is done and he is set to take over at the end of the season.

Mourinho will sign a three-year contract to take charge of Manchester United, according to reports in Spain.

El Confidencial claim Jorge Mendes’ London office is putting the final touches to a deal which will see the Portuguese boss replace van Gaal at Old Trafford.

They state that the former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager will be paid £15.5m-a-year until 2019.

The report says that lawyers from both parties are working on a “maze of clauses” which will be resolved in the coming days.

Should El Confidencial’s report be true, this could potentially make Mourinho the highest paid manager in world football.

While the Spanish newspaper claim he will be behind Guardiola, who they say will earn £19.4m-a-season, Starsport understands he will be paid closer to £15m-a-year at City.

Mourinho’s arrival at Old Trafford will bring to an end Van Gaal’s troubled two-year reign.

The Dutchman will still have a year remaining on his United contract, but he has not impressed after being backed to the tune of hundreds of millions of pounds in the transfer market yet failing to win any silverware.

It has seen him come under increasing pressure from fans.

Van Gaal has been publicly riled in press conferences on several occasions when asked about his future at the club, but Mourinho is certain the job is his.

The move will reignite Mourinho’s bitter rivalry with Pep Guardiola, who will take over at Manchester City from Manuel Pellegrini in the summer.

The pair began their feud while Mourinho was in charge at Real Madrid and Guardiola was Barcelona manager and are set to continue it in England next season.

Van Gaal (64) had accused the media of “inventing” the fact Mourinho is on is way to the club.

And the Dutchman has said there is no need for United to issue any kind of denial.

But Starsport understands talk of the former Chelsea manager taking charge at Old Trafford in the summer is rife in football circles with the general consensus that the move is already finalised.

Mourinho has told friends he’s confident he has landed the job and bookies BetVictor were on Tuesday quoting the Portuguese coach at just 1/5 to be United’s next boss.

Van Gaal’s contract runs until the end of next season but his job is hanging by a thread.

United crashed out the Champions League early and face a battle to qualify again next season.

Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea in December following a run of terrible results.

It’s understood he has already begun planning for life at Old Trafford by watching all of United’s games on DVD.

United chiefs are also reportedly keeping tabs on Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino.

United’s poor displays this season have also seen a wobble off the pitch.

Exective vice-chairman Ed Woodward can expect a grilling from shareholders today when the club announce their latest quarterly results in a conference call to investors.

United’s share price slumped to a new three-year low of £9.61 at the start of the week, wiping around £57m off the value of the club.

The slide on the New York Stock exchange saw United’s shares valued at their lowest price since December 2012.

It came the day after United’s 1-1 draw at Chelsea, which left Van Gaal’s side six points off a Champions League qualification place.

Failing to reach the top four and make it back into Europe’s elite competition would leave a big hole in United’s balance sheet.

The uncertainty over United’s managerial position will also do little for confidence with Woodward also likely to face questions over the future of Van Gaal.

Woodward has delivered consistent commercial success at Old Trafford — notably a record-breaking £750m kit deal with Adidas in 2014 — and last week United announced a new deal with 20th Century Fox.

But on the football front he has so far been found wanting and may need to re-assure the money men that he can turn things round as United — who have lost just one of their last nine games — hope for a storming end to the season.

United sacked David Moyes in April 2014 after it became clear they would not qualify for the Champions League.

But long-serving midfielder Michael Carrick insists the draw at Chelsea does not spell the end of their top four hopes in the Premier League.

And the England international is also eyeing a first piece of silverware since 2013 with United still in the FA Cup and about to launch their Europa League campaign against Danish champions Midtjylland next Thursday.

Carrick said: “If we’d have gone to Chelsea and got a win we’d have been in good shape, but it wasn’t to be and it makes things harder for us.

“We have to battle on though, keep going and play something like we have been doing over the last few weeks and then see where that takes us.

“There is plenty to play for this month and of course plenty of points to play for in the league. We’re not giving anything up just yet.”

Meanwhile, United legend Bryan Robson, meanwhile, has urged the club to appoint Ryan Giggs instead of Mourinho.

“Ryan really can be the Guardiola of United, I am sure of it,’ Robson told The Sun. ‘Yes, he’s a quiet lad but that should make no difference. He has always been a deep thinker on the game. He’s worked hard to get to this point.

“They talk about Guardiola being intelligent and having a great football brain. Ryan is no different. He just needs the chance to prove what he can do once Van Gaal goes.

“There should be no knee-jerk reaction, no panic. Guardiola has a great record but United should not be reacting to what happens at City. United should carry on what was started when Van Gaal arrived.

“It was always said that during Van Gaal’s time as manager Ryan would learn under him, get his pro-licence and be ready for the job. That should still be the case.

“People say Ryan hasn’t got the experience. But he watched how Sir Alex Ferguson worked for 26 years and he’s watching Van Gaal go about things now. He represents United’s soul. He has been at the club since he was 13 and knows what is expected.” — The Daily Star.