By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini are among the Manchester United players fretting over their futures as the club prepare to appoint Jose Mourinho as their news manager.
As revealed by Football Insider, Mourinho has been offered a three-year contract by the club worth £48million.
A source close to the situation has told Football Insider that Mourinho is expected to tell United to cash in on Mata, who was bought from his previous club Chelsea in January 2014 for £37million, and Fellaini, who signed from Everton the previous summer for £27million.
The Portuguese had frozen Mata out of the Chelsea team before giving the green light for him to United when David Moyes was in charge at Old Trafford.
Mata does not fit in with Mourinho’s ambitious plans at Old Trafford because he feels the Spaniard lacks the pace and mobility to play in one of the three positions behind the centre-forward.
Fellaini is also on his way out of Old Trafford if United come to a financial agreement with Van Gaal at the end of the season and replace him with Mourinho.
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 Louis 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.
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 Manchester City if they ignore the Portugese’s credentials.
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 was in the final weeks of his Chelsea reign.