Jose Mourinho wants Atletico Madrid technical director if he becomes Man United manager
Jose Mourinho is understood to be keen to bring in Atletico Madrid’s sporting director Andrea Berta if he becomes Manchester United manager at the end of this season.
Berta, an Italian, has been a key figure under Atletico’s rise under coach Diego Simeone and has a good working relationship with Mourinho’s agent, Jorge Mendes.
It remains to be seen, of course, whether United turn to Mourinho, who is desperate to take over at Old Trafford, if Louis Van Gaal is not allowed to go into the final year of his contract at the club.
It also remains to be seen whether United want to go down the route of hiring a director of football, something the club has so far resisted and has given no indication that it is likely to pursue a change in its management structure.
Mourinho has pushed to secure an agreement with United to succeed Van Gaal but, despite reports in Spain over the weekend, it is understood he has not signed a formal pre-contract.
Nevertheless Mourinho’s remains the outstanding – and available – candidate should, as appears likely, a change of manager at United be made although the club is believed to have already considered other options.
Meanwhile Michael Carrick hopes to resolve his future at United “soon” but has indicated that he will carry on playing elsewhere if he is not offered a new contract.
The 34-year-old midfielder’s current deal expires at the end of this season and he admitted that it was still unclear whether he would stay. “I am not sure yet to be honest, no,” Carrick said on whether he would be offered a new deal and stay. “I haven’t heard anything just at the moment, no. Hopefully (I will) some time soon.”
Asked, after United’s vital 1-0 derby win away to Manchester City, whether he would continue playing if, after 10 years at United, he had to leave, Carrick said: “I have been here a long time, I have had some great times here and I love the club. It’s a great place to play. Playing games like today, it keeps you having that buzz and enthusiasm to play for longer, so we will wait and see what happens.”
Carrick captained United at the Etihad Stadium and delivered an impressive midfield performance in a victory which keeps their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League alive and which, he said, would have been a “disaster” if the game had ended in defeat.
The midfielder will not be part of the England squad for the forthcoming friendlies against Germany and Holland with manager Roy Hodgson having called him to explain his omission as he wanted to look at other players such as Leicester City’s Danny Drinkwater.
“I spoke to him (Hodgson) and it’s fair enough,” Carrick said. “He gave me his reasons and stuff and what he wanted to do, so that is fine. I have a few days off now so I will go and have a rest, have a break, take the family away which will be nice and come back for the run-in.”
Nevertheless the omission calls into question whether Carrick will make the 23-man squad for Euro 2016. “A lot can change between now and the summer,” he said. “There are some big games and you have got to be consistent so that is how it goes.”
Carrick said he hoped the win over City can “turn things around” for United after a hugely disappointing season: “It has been frustrating because we know we have got performances in us, and you can see that against the so-called bigger teams, our form has been very good. So you can take positives from that but at the same time it’s not enough.”