By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
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Jose Mourinho will take over at Manchester United at the end of the season, Football Insider sources understand.
The Portugese is in line to become the club’s next permanent manager after agreeing a three-year deal worth £48million.
As revealed by Football Insider last week, Mourinho has signed a pre-contract agreement with United that is set to make him the highest paid manager in the world.
A United source has told Football Insider that a deal is in place for Mourinho to also take over at Old Trafford at the end of the season 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.
Mourinho was vague about his future when questioned by the Italian media last Friday as he prepared to travel to the San Siro on Saturday evening to watch ex-club Inter Milan host Sampdoria.
“My next club? I really don’t know,” Mourinho said. “Right now I have respect for every coach and every club. I’m not looking for a club, it’s the clubs looking for me.”
United’s wretched performances under Van Gaal, which reached a new low last Thursday when they lost 2-1 to Danish minnows Midtjylland in the Europa League, 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.
However, in the event Van Gaal is axed before the season finishes United are likely to turn to make a caretaker appointment as they will not turn to Mourinho until the end of the campaign.