Man Utd 'make their move' to appoint Jose Mourinho
Manchester United chiefs want to appoint Jose Mourinho as the club's manager imminently, after finally losing faith with beleaguered boss Louis van Gaal.
Initial talks were staged between Mourinho’s advisers and Old Trafford officials last month, but the coach sacked by Chelsea in December made it clear that he would only consider taking over at United next summer and not before the end of this season.
After the Sunday World revealed there are deep divides among the United board over the appointment of Mourinho last month, it appears that internal wrangling has allowed Van Gaal to remain in place despite the continuing gloom at Old Trafford.
Last Saturday's 2-1 defeat against Sunderland saw the under-fire boss admit his side's hopes of a top four finish in the Premier League had all but gone and that was before their embarrassing 2-1 defeat against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League on Thursday.
Now it is being reported that United have made fresh attempts in the hours since the latest defeat to assess whether Mourinho would consider taking over Van Gaal in the next few days.
It remains to be seen whether the two-time Champions League winner is ready to backtrack on his original insistence that he would not return to work until next summer, after he confirmed on Friday that he was eager to return to the game.
"My next club? I really do not know, but one thing is certain - I love football and I will return with the same passion and ambition I've always had," he told La Stampa.
"Right now I have respect for every coach at every club. I'm not looking for a club, but there are clubs that are looking for me."
There are also suggestions that senior United players are now keen for Van Gaal to leave his post, with Michael Carrick issuing an apology to United fans after their display in the FC Midtjylland game.
What appears to be evident is that Van Gaal's position as United boss has become untenable, with Monday's FA Cup fifth round clash against Shrewsbury now offering the threat of fresh humiliation for the Dutch tactician.
The reluctance of Van Gaal’s assistant Ryan Giggs to take over as temporary United manager may well have kept the veteran Dutchman in his job over the last few weeks, but it seems as if the impasse will soon come to an end.
Even if he hangs on to his job until the Shrewsbury game, Van Gaal's tenure as United manager will soon come to an end and it is now just a matter of when and not if he leaves his post.