By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
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Jose Mourinho is still in line to become the new Manchester United manager at the end of the season, Football Insider sources understand.
The Premier League giants remain committed to appointing the Portugese despite speculation that Louis van Gaal could stay on for another year.
A mini-revival overseen by the Dutchman earlier this month had prompted reports that he would see out his contract, which expires in the summer of 2017.
However, a well-placed source has told Football Insider the club plan to replace Van Gaal in the summer with Mourinho, who has dropped a thinly-veiled hint that he will be managing a major Premier League club by July.
Mourinho stopped short of naming the specific club but made it clear that he already has job sewn up in the English top flight.
As revealed by Football Insider last month, Mourinho has 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.
Van Gaal is coming under increasing pressure at Old Trafford with United languishing sixth in the Premier League table and facing an uphill battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
The likelihood is that the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss 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.