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 confident of tying up an agreement with Jose Mourinho this month, Football Insider sources understand.

The Premier League giants are closing in on the appointment of Mourinho as new manager after offering him a three-year contract worth £48million.

A United source has told Football Insider that talks between the club and Mourinho’s camp are now at an advanced stage 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 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.

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 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.

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.