As Manchester City announced that Pep Guardiola is to become their new manager for the next three seasons as of this summer, all eyes seemed to turn to Old Trafford.
The Red side of Manchester have seen their manager’s job under severe pressure in recent months as Louis van Gaal and the fans fell out with eachother , while Jose Mourinho was sacked at Chelsea.
The Portuguese coach has long been linked with the Old Trafford hot seat due to his relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson during his first stint in England, while he’s always spoken openly about his admiration for England’s biggest club.
Some fans, and reportedly some board members, are against the potential recruitment of Jose Mourinho due to the baggage he brings with him. Add to that the fact he generally lasts three years at any one club and leaves them in turmoil upon his exit, many have made the decision for themselves that he isn’t the right man for this club.
But Manchester City’s decision to bring in arguably the most innovative coach of his generation in Pep Guardiola may have forced their rivals’ hand in the matter.
In recent months Van Gaal has been linked with multiple sackings and resignations as Manchester United slipped from top of the Premier League down to fifth and fighting for a spot in the Champions League next season all over again. He crashed out of the Champions League at the group stages while they were knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Championship side Middlesbrough, coached by Mourinho’s protégé Aitor Karanka.
Many rumours have suggested, while Louis van Gaal has all but confirmed himself previously, that the job is Ryan Giggs’ next so long as he wants it. Van Gaal hinted at the start of this season that the signings of players like Memphis Depay and Anthony Martial were for Giggs’ tenure once he eventually goes. He probably didn’t expect to be leaving a year early at the time though.
All signs currently point to Van Gaal leaving a year early in the summer, meaning Jose Mourinho will be ready to step in and take the role immediately to challenge Manchester City and Pep Guardiola for dominance once again.
Other candidates are likely to be thrust into the picture should the vacancy come up, with the likes of Diego Simeone and Mauricio Pochettino staking strong cases for themselves too. But with Guardiola’s impending arrival across the city, Manchester United should match fire with fire by bringing in Mourinho.
Jose has shown in the past with Real Madrid that he can go toe to toe with Guardiola, when his Real Madrid side won La Liga by scoring a record amount of goals and acquiring a record amount of points during the season. He’s also the only manager in world football with a similar profile to Pep when it comes to attracting the biggest stars in the game.
Right now Manchester City’s profile is bigger than United’s. Trophies, infinite funds, some of the world’s best players already at the club and with Pep now they just got even more attractive while Manchester United are in transition. Mourinho however would still be able to attract top players, something Louis van Gaal has struggled to do.
Mourinho is far from the perfect option to take over. Pep was that. But Mourinho is the perfect solution to counter Manchester City’s bid to become the biggest club in Manchester, England and Europe.
If Mourinho comes in, United will compete on all fronts. His record almost guarantees it. Both parties will need to give a bit of leeway for it to work properly but Jose is Manchester United’s best chance of avoiding obscurity.