Rumours swirl as Mourinho's agent is spotted in Manchester

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Mendes in Manchester....maybe he fancied shopping at the Trafford Centre
Mendes in Manchester....maybe he fancied shopping at the Trafford Centre

Jose Mourinho's agent Jorge Mendes has been photographed in a hotel next to Manchester United's Old Trafford home, sparking a wave of rumours over the reason for his visit to England.

Mourinho continues to be linked with a move to replace Louis van Gaal at United this summer, with the presence of his high profile agent in Manchester sparking suggestions that talks are under way to finalise a deal.

Mendes also acts as adviser-in-chief to Benfica midfielder Renato Sanches and as the Portuguese wonder-kid is expected to seal a big money move to United this summer, there is every chance that his visit was set up to finalise a transfer expected to cost up to €40m.

With his strong links with the United hierarchy, Mendes appears to be in prime position to negotiate moves for Mourinho and Sanches to Old Trafford, with one of those who featured in a photograph with him fuelling fresh rumours of a possible role for Ryan Giggs on his United coaching team.  

Mendes was photographed alongside Valencia owner Peter Lim, who has business links with former United stars Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Gary and Phil Neville, sparking speculation that there may be a place for current United assistant boss Giggs in a future Mourinho set-up at Old Trafford.

Mourinho has tended to include a member of the club’s current staff in his backroom team when he arrives at a club, with Steve Clarke and Steve Holland among those who worked alongside the decorated tactician during his two spells as Chelsea manager.

Several high profile United ambassadors have come out in support of Giggs succeeding Van Gaal at Old Trafford in recent weeks, while there have been suggestions that the Welshman would not be keen to stay on in a role as assistant manager if Mourinho was appointed.

If there was to be a place for Giggs in a potential Mourinho set-up at United, it could dilute the opposition towards his possible appointment, which would not be confirmed until after the club play the FA Cup final against Crystal Palace at Wembley on May 21st.

Reports last weekend suggested Mourinho’s appointment as United would be confirmed ‘in the next two weeks, but those suggestions have been swiftly dismissed by all parties.

It remains to be seen whether an FA Cup win and a top four finish in the Premier League would be enough to earn Van Gaal another year in the Old Trafford hot-seat, with many United fans calling for him to be sacked whatever the outcome of the final weeks of this season.