By Editor Wayne Veysey | Former Evening Standard, Press Association and Goal chief correspondent with 17 years experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this

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Manchester United have offered Jose Mourinho a three-year contract worth £48million, Football Insider sources understand.

The Premier League giants are confident of reaching an agreement this month with Mourinho to be their new manager.

Preliminary talks have already taken place between United and Mourinho’s camp as the possibility grows that he will land the job of his dreams.

United have indicated they will hand Mourinho £16million-a-year, equivalent to £308,000-a-week, in a bid to install him as their new manager at the end of the season.

United’s wretched performances under Van Gaal, as well as a string of mediocre results that have seen them drift out of the title race, has persuaded club chiefs to seriously consider Mourinho.

The likelihood is that Van Gaal will leave Old Trafford at the end of the season, one year before his contract expires.

As revealed by Football Insider last Friday, United have made a move for Mourinho as they prepare to make him the highest-paid manager in the world.

Despite strong reservations among the United old guard of directors, led by Sir Bobby Charlton, about Mourinho’s profile, capacity to court controversy and willingness to implement a style of play in the club’s traditions, there is a growing sense that the team could slip further behind City if they ignore the Portugese’s credentials.

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Van Gaal has also not advanced his cause with his increasingly fractious and bizarre dealings with the media, and there is little sense that his behaviour is any more attractive than Mourinho’s in the final weeks of his Chelsea reign.

It was announced on Monday of last week that Manuel Pellegrini will step down in the summer and Pep Guardiola will take the reins at Etihad Stadium after ending his three-year Bayern spell.

Sources close to the situation have told Football Insider Mourinho has made it clear that he wants his next managerial post to be in the Premier League, and preferably at Old Trafford.

The Portugese has continued to live in England, at his family home in central London, since being sacked by Chelsea in mid December.