By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
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Jose Mourinho has given the clearest sign yet that he already has the Manchester United job sewn up by confirming he will start a new job in July.
The Portuguese has been heavily linked with the manager’s post at Old Trafford since he was sacked by Chelsea for a second time in December.
He revealed in an interview last month in Singapore that his next post would be in the Premier League and went a step further by telling BT Sport that he has “good options” on the table and is hopeful of joining his new employers in July.
Mourinho has remained tight-lipped on his destination but is adamant he is set to take charge of his next club in time for pre-season.
“I was lucky enough to have good options since I left Chelsea in December,” Mourinho said in an interview with BT Sport screened on Sunday night.
“I was lucky enough to have not just options – to have good options – but I made the decision to wait, calm, in my corner, not disturbing, just waiting, reading a few lies and listening to a few lies.
“But the reality is that I want to work. Normally in July a new pre-season starts and somewhere – I want to be there,” he added.
Mourinho stopped short of naming the club but made it clear that he already has an agreement in place with a club.
It will be a boost to anxious United supporters in the wake of a series of feeble displays, although they remain in the FA Cup after a late Anthony Martial goal secured a 1-1 draw against West Ham on Sunday and a replay in 10 days’ time.
As revealed by Football Insider last month, Mourinho is understood to have signed a pre-contract agreement with United that is set to make him the highest paid manager in the world.
He has agreed a three-year deal worth £48million and a deal is in place for the Portugese to take over at Old Trafford at the end of the season.
United’s mini-revival, inspired by the extraordinary start to Marcus Rashford’s career, has come to an abrupt end in the club’s last three matches, defeats against West Brom and Liverpool followed by the home draw against West Ham.
Louis van Gaal is coming under increasing pressure at Old Trafford with United languishing sixth in the Premier League table and struggling to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
The likelihood is that Van Gaal will leave Old Trafford at the end of the season, one year before his contract expires, although there is a possibility he will be sacked at the point the club are no longer in contention for a place in next season’s Champions League.
Ex-manager David Moyes was axed two years ago when United were no longer mathematically capable of qualifying for Europe’s premier competition the following season.
In other Manchester United news, Marouane Fellaini suffered the indignity of the home supporters cheering when he was substituted at Old Trafford against West Ham on Sunday.