Jose Mourinho is close to becoming Manchester United’s next manager, with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward holding talks with his agent Jorge Mendes in London.
Two days after leading United to their first major trophy of the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era, Louis van Gaal’s turbulent two-year Old Trafford reign was brought to an end.
The divisive Dutchman paid for United’s prosaic style and underwhelming substance, with Saturday’s FA Cup win unable to mask the poor Premier League performances that saw United miss out on Champions League qualification by goal difference.
Mourinho, his former assistant at Barcelona, looks a shoo-in for the job and Woodward and Mendes are meeting in London to discuss the deal.
It is understood Ryan Giggs is considering an offer to remain with the club he has served for so long, although it is unclear what that role would be having been assistant to Van Gaal.
No official confirmation on the remainder of the Dutchman’s backroom team has been made, but it has been reported that assistant coaches Albert Stuivenberg and Frans Hoek, as well as performance analyst Max Reckers, have left.
As for the new manager, the seemingly inevitable appointment of Mourinho has been called a “nice prospect” by Memphis Depay.
Having arrived to much fanfare last summer, the 22-year-old failed to live up to expectations at Old Trafford and was not included in United’s FA Cup final squad.
Depay was understandably disappointed to miss out but remains “happy to be at Manchester United”, with the Holland international looking forward to proving himself next term.
“A love-hate relationship (with Van Gaal)? I do not know,” he told De Telegraaf.
“And now he leaves, as things go in football and in life. You learn and you become stronger.
“If the arrival of Mourinho becomes official, I will ask Wesley Sneijder sure what kind of man he is.
“That is interesting. It all sounds so, but it is not yet official. ”
When told that Sneijder had called his former Inter Milan boss the best he has worked with, Depay said: “That’s a nice prospect.”
United team-mate Daley Blind also spoke positively about Mourinho, saying he has “achieved much”, but the overriding emotion was one of disappointment for Van Gaal.
“I always worked well with him and would have been keen that the co-operation lasted longer,” he told reporters at Holland’s training camp in Portugal.
“The manager of a top club in England is naturally under much more pressure but over the last six months he has not been treated fairly.
“I think a manager like Louis van Gaal, who has achieved so much already, deserved more respect.
“Even though there was so much being written about him losing his job over the last months, he always looked to protect and shelter us. It is not easy for a coach if you are repeatedly being fired in the newspapers.”