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 are ready to offer Jose Mourinho a staggering £55million contract to become their new manager, Football Insider sources understand.
The United hierarchy are willing to make Mourinho one of the top-paid managers in the world with an incentivised four-year deal rewarding trophies and Champions League qualification.
The Premier League giants have been linked with the Portugese after he was sacked by Chelsea last Thursday following a wretched run of results.
United are attracted by the availability of a serial trophy winner as doubts grow about Louis van Gaal’s ability to lift the club back to the summit of domestic and European football.
As revealed by Football Insider last Sunday, the future of Van Gaal was discussed by the Old Trafford hierarchy in the wake of the club’s 2-1 defeat to Norwich on Saturday.
Senior United officials led by the Glazer family, who won the club, held talks about Van Gaal’s position following a six-match run without a win, including three consecutive defeats.
A United source has told Football Insider that the Dutchman’s position is safe for now but there is growing impatience within the Old Trafford corridors of power about the team’s poor form and lack of progress.
Mourinho’s name has been mentioned in the Old Trafford boardroom as an alternative to Van Gaal and talks have taken place about offering him a bonus-related deal worth up to £13.75million-a-year.
The Dutchman’s position is on the agenda after the Premier League giants slipped to their third consecutive loss on Saturday.
A 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Norwich followed losses to Bournemouth in the Premier League and Wolfsburg in the Champions League, which meant elimination from Europe’s premier competition.
After Saturday’s defeat at Old Trafford, supporters turned on manager Louis van Gaal by roundly booing him from his seat in the dugout all the way to the tunnel.
Asked afterwards at his post-match media conference if he feared for his position, Van Gaal said: “Yes of course I am worried about that because I know that belief in a manager is very important.”
The Dutchman, 64, could not give a definite answer when asked if he will be given time to turn the situation around at Old Trafford.
“Yes I think so but I never know, in this world, you never know. It is not up to me, but we shall see,” he explained.
The defeat for United, coupled with victories for leaders Leicester, leaves Van Gaal’s fifth in the Premier League on 29 points, nine adrift of the top.
Van Gaal has had to regularly defended his team’s playing style this season, with ex-players and supporters critical of their lack of adventure.