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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Jose Mourinho has signed a pre-contract agreement with Manchester United, Football Insider sources understand.
The Portugese will become the next United manager after sealing a three-year contract worth £48million.
A United source has told Football Insider that a deal is in place for Mourinho to take over at Old Trafford in the summer despite growing calls from supporters for him to take over from Louis van Gaal immediately.
United will hand Mourinho £16million-a-year, equivalent to £308,000-a-week, in a bid to revitalise the club’s flagging fortunes.
The 53-year-old has landed the job of his dreams after extensive talks with the club over the last six weeks.
Football Insider revealed at the start of February that the Premier League giants were confident of reaching an agreement this month with Mourinho to be their new manager.
United’s wretched performances under Van Gaal, which reached a new low when they lost 2-1 to Danish minnows Midtjylland in the Europa League on Thursday night, persuaded club chiefs to turn to Mourinho.
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.
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 was a growing sense that the team could slip further behind City if they ignored the Portugese’s credentials.
Van Gaal has also not advanced his cause with his increasingly fractious dealings with the media, and there is little sense that his conduct is any more attractive than Mourinho’s was in the final weeks of his Chelsea reign.
City have already announced 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.
Mourinho has continued to live in England, at his family home in central London, since being sacked by Chelsea in mid December.