Monday 19 February 2018

Jose Mourinho agrees new deal to stay until 2021

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho

James Ducker

Jose Mourinho is close to signing a new deal with Manchester United to extend his stay at Old Trafford until 2021 at least.

As reported a fortnight ago, the club are in advanced talks with the manager over an extension to his existing contract, which expires in June 2019 albeit with an option to stay for a further 12 months.

It is understood that Mourinho has agreed terms until June 2021 with the option of a further 12 months. He has yet to sign but that is expected to be a formality and an announcement from the club will follow once that has happened.

The Portuguese ridiculed claims earlier this month that he could quit Old Trafford at the end of the season by insisting he was fully committed to the club, with whom he won the Europa League and League Cup in his debut season last term, and determined to restore sustained success.

"I am going to leave when the club wants me to leave because I have no intention to leave at all. My intention is to stay and to work and to improve and to bring the club to where the club belongs," said Mourinho, who will turn 55 later this month.

Mourinho now wants United to offer Marouane Fellaini a fresh contract. The club are still in talks with Fellaini's representatives with the Belgium midfielder's existing agreement expiring at the end of the season.

Power-brokers

Old Trafford's power-brokers will not countenance Fellaini's sale during this month's transfer window, despite the prospect of losing him for nothing in the summer, but Mourinho hopes the board can still do enough to persuade the 30-year-old to remain at the club.

Fellaini rejected United's opening contract offer last September but discussions have continued to take place. He has been linked with a move to Besiktas in Turkey while several clubs in England and in Europe are monitoring the versatile player's situation.

With Michael Carrick considering retiring at the end of the season when the 36-year-old midfielder's contract expires, Mourinho does not want to be left in a situation where he has to replace two vastly experienced central midfielders at the same time.

One player who looks increasingly like staying at United beyond the end of this season is Luke Shaw, who hopes to force his way into Gareth Southgate's World Cup plans after claiming he feels in the best shape of his career and rejuvenated under Mourinho.

Shaw has started eight of United's past 11 games, a huge turnaround in fortunes for the left-back whose Old Trafford career appeared in serious jeopardy last year after Mourinho questioned his commitment, focus, ambition, as well as his football brain.

"Body-wise and fitness-wise I probably feel the best I've ever felt," Shaw said. "Mentally I feel strong as well. I'm determined for the second half of the season. There is a lot to play for with the World Cup as well.

"I want to play as many games as possible to help United. If I can then hopefully I will state my case to go to the World Cup."

Phil Jones is convinced United can hunt down rivals Manchester City in the title race after closing the gap to 12 points with Monday's 3-0 victory over Stoke.

"Football's football, never say never," the United defender said. "I remember in my first season we were eight points clear, absolutely cruising, no way we'd let the lead slip and we lost it on the final day [to City on goal difference].

"People can say what they want but we'll continue to be positive and push forward. You never know. It happened in 2012 to us, so why not?" (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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