LONDON – English soccer’s biggest club seems to have secured the services of the sport’s most colorful manager after Jose Mourinho agreed to personal terms with Manchester United on Tuesday, according to Sky TV reports.
After a trophy-laden career with Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid, Mourinho is set to replace Dutchman Louis Van Gaal, who was fired on Monday, with a goal to bring back the glory days the club once took for granted under former manager Alex Ferguson.
The 53-year-old, who was fired by Chelsea in December seven months after winning his third Premier League title at the London club over two spells, had been constantly linked with the United job as Van Gaal struggled to make an impression at Old Trafford.
The Dutchman was dismissed two days after steering United to its first F.A. Cup success in 12 years with a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace after extra time in Saturday’s Wembley final.
Van Gaal’s preferred possession-dominated playing style at a club more readily associated with fast, direct attacking, was widely criticized, and it appeared to take his players time to adapt.
Mourinho is also known for pragmatism, however, relying on a strong defensive foundation and hard-working midfielders and strikers.
He has a history of success wherever he has managed and a proven track record in the English game.
Mourinho won the UEFA Cup and Champions League as well as the domestic double twice in his two seasons at Porto and led Chelsea to its first top-flight title in 50 years in his first campaign, and retained the crown the following season.
He also won the League Cup and F.A. Cup before moving to Inter where he won the Serie A title as well as the Champions League and Italian Cup.
Mourinho helped Real to its first La Liga crown in four years and on returning to Chelsea, he again won the Premier League before an unexpectedly poor — and troubled — start to the 2015-16 season led to his abrupt dismissal.
His imminent appointment at Old Trafford, touted in the media for months, will divide opinion but while some have voiced concern over playing style and potentially explosive personality clashes, he is widely considered to be as close to a guarantee of silverware as a manager can be.
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