Man Utd board at war over Jose Mourinho's bid for power

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Sunday World back page
Sunday World back page

Manchester United's hierarchy is "deeply divided" over whether to hand Jose Mourinho the keys of power at Old Trafford, after finally conceding the time has come to look for a successor to Louis van Gaal.

The Sunday World back page reveals the bitter battle that is raging behind closed doors at Old Trafford, with the club's leading decision makers split on whether they should give Mourinho the green light to take his dream job as United boss.

United officials believe it is now inevitable that Van Gaal will NOT be in charge when the next Premier League season gets underway in August, but the plans to replace him have been thrown into chaos.

Some leading voices at United believe Mourinho is the proven winner the club needs to lead the club back to the top, yet there are significant voices of concern eager to block Mourinho's arrival at the club.

Meanwhile, a vocal clan of United chiefs continue to back Ryan Giggs (below with Mourinho) to take over from Van Gaal at the end of the season, even though they appreciate this would be a major gamble.

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone and Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino have been mentioned as possible successors to Van Gaal, who continues to insist publicly that he will remain in charge until the end of his contract in the summer of 2017.

Yet Van Gaal and United appreciate that whatever happens in the final weeks of this season, his time at the club will come to an end at some point this year and the only question that remains is who will replace him.

Mourinho is eager to claim the job, but it remains to be seen whether United's doubting hierarchy will grant him his wish.