Lot of chatter in the last week about how that Jose Mourinho has turned down offers to return to Real Madrid and Inter Milan because he is heading to Old Trafford in the summer. It sounded like the Special One to United was a done deal.
And it might be. There are more than a few whispers that Mourinho has signed a United contract, but that the deal will not be announced until the summer.
But according to the Manchester Evening News, the former Chelsea manager is only convinced of getting his dream job if Louis van Gaal fails to clinch a top four spot this season.
It appears that qualifying for the Champions League is the minimal threshold for a United boss these days. United sacked David Moyes 36 hours after their 2-0 defeat at Everton ensured it was mathematically impossible for them to qualify for the Champions League in 2014
United are six points off a Champions League place heading into this weekend’s round of matches, a gap that will be difficult to close. But van Gaal’s side begins play in the Europa League Round of 32 this month and are 9 games away from winning that competition and qualifying automatically for the Champions League next season. While Napoli and Spurs are probably the biggest obstacles in United’s way from European glory, its a cup competition and they are heavily favored to beat Danish side Midtjylland in the Round of 32. Then a favorable draw could see them into the quarter-finals.
United have let van Gaal get hammered week in and week out by the media without coming to his defence. Even if United qualifies for the Champions League next season I find it difficult to envision a scenario where van Gaal returns for a third season.
Which sets the stage for the Special One to get his dream job. To take over for Alex Ferguson and go head-to-head with his biggest rival Pep Guardiola next season.