Tuesday 6 December 2016

Mourinho and Van Gaal to form Manchester United 'dream team' next season?

Published 20/05/2016 | 00:07

Jose Mourinho, left, and Louis van Gaal
Jose Mourinho, left, and Louis van Gaal

Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal could form a sensational management dream team at Manchester United next season, according to a report in a British tabloid newspaper.

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In the latest twist in what has become a long-running soap opera over the managerial position at Old Trafford, the report in The Sun claims Mourinho will be installed as United manager in the coming days and will work alongside his long-time friend Van Gaal in his first year at the club.

While Van Gaal has shown no inclination publicly that he will consider walking away from his role at United and has stated his intention to stay for the third and final year of his contract, The Sun have broken a story that could provide a solution to the impasse over the Dutchman’s role at the club.

With an increasing majority of United supporters calling for Van Gaal to be replaced by ex-Chelsea boss Mourinho, the idea that the long-standing friends could work together at Old Trafford is not as crazy as it might seem.

Van Gaal has held a Sporting Director role Ajax back in 2004, before he fell out with head coach Ronald Koeman and moved back into management with AZ Alkmaar.

At the age of 64, a proposal to work alongside his former pupil Mourinho and see out the final year of his current deal at United may be a viable option for Van Gaal after a turbulent season that saw him lead his side to a fifth place finish in the Premier League and failing to secure Champions League football for next season.

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Mourinho has made it clear that he wants to take over at Old Trafford, but he has also expressed a desire not to undermine his old mentor Van Gaal, who was instrumental in his own development as a coach during their time together at Barcelona between 1997 and 2000.

Defeat for Van Gaal in Saturday’s FA Cup final against Crystal Palace at Wembley would seemingly make his position as United manager untenable, yet the idea of a Van Gaal/Mourinho dream team at Old Trafford could smooth the transition between the Dutchman and his youthful apprentice over the course of the next 12 months.

Mourinho has insisted that he has no deal in place to manage any club for next season, but he has confirmed that he expects to return to the game by July 1st.

The two-time Champions League winning boss had been widely expected to bring Atletico Madrid Sporting Director Andrea Berta with him to United as the club’s new Sporting Director, but he may now be tempted to work alongside Van Gaal for his first year at the club.

We will not have long to wait to discover whether this latest story has any credence, with United likely to make an announcement on Van Gaal’s future following the FA Cup Final on Saturday.

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