Mourinho: United job '˜special'

Jose Mourinho has finally been confirmed as Manchester United manager.
Mourinho replaces Van GaalMourinho replaces Van Gaal
Mourinho replaces Van Gaal

Louis van Gaal’s turbulent two-year reign was brought to an end on Monday as FA Cup glory was unable to mask poor Premier League performances in terms of style and substance.

United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and Mourinho’s agent Jorge Mendes began talks the following day, although it took until Friday for official confirmation as the terms of the contract were ironed out.

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The former Chelsea manager has signed a three-year deal at Old Trafford, with an option to stay at the club until at least 2020.

“To become Manchester United manager is a special honour in the game,” Mourinho said.

“It is a club known and admired throughout the world. There is a mystique and a romance about it which no other club can match.

“I have always felt an affinity with Old Trafford; it has hosted some important memories for me in my career and I have always enjoyed a rapport with the United fans.

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“I’m looking forward to being their manager and enjoying their magnificent support in the coming years.”

Mourinho’s immediate task is to revive United’s ailing fortunes, having finished fifth in the Premier League and missed out on Champions League qualification.

The Red Devils will instead take part in the Europa League next term, but Woodward is confident things will improve under the Portuguese.

“Jose is quite simply the best manager in the game today,” the executive vice chairman said.

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“He has won trophies and inspired players in countries across Europe and, of course, he knows the Premier League very well, having won three titles here.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome him to Manchester United. His track record of success is ideal to take the club forward.”

United officials say Mourinho will not be presented to the media until July, but he is scheduled to manage England at Old Trafford on June 5 in Soccer Aid 2016.

The 53-year-old arrives at the club having won 22 trophies since 2003, including league titles in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain, as well as two Champions League crowns.

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Mourinho has been out of work since his second spell at Chelsea came to an embarrassing end in December, with the reigning champions looking to beat the drop rather than retain their crown when he departed.

A ninth league loss in 16 matches spelled the end of his reign, which the club’s technical director Michael Emenalo blamed on “palpable discord” between the manager and his players.

Mourinho was immediately linked with the United hotseat, but Van Gaal, the man he once assisted at Barcelona, saw out the rest of the season.