Jose Mourinho close to agreeing new long-term Manchester United contract


Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is close to agreeing on a new long-term contract with the Old Trafford club according to reports. For months now, there has been much speculation surrounding the future of Mourinho with the media suggesting he was going to jump ship at the end of the season to become the new Paris Saint-Germain manager next season. The media have also slated Mourinho for the style of play he operates, amongst other things. It really did make it look like the media were circling to force United to sack another player, which is pathetic.

United, at the time of the speculation suggesting Mourinho would leave the club, were second in the Premier League, despite Manchester City having around 12-15 points on them. The fact was Mourinho had improved United considerably in the first two summers of his tenure, but the media needed to find a story and something which revolved around United, as let’s face it, it is the only way that attracts attention for them. Look at all the transfer rumours, linking United to players they are not interested in, then telling the world how United has missed out afterward.

If anyone says there is no agenda against United, they are kidding themselves. The agenda is something that personally makes me smile. Everyone wants to read about Manchester United whether they support the club or hate the club. Everyone is obsessed with the fact that they want to be played by the media into believing that something which is in effect made up, is actually true. That is pretty spectacular in itself. Hated, adored, never ignored.

Mourinho has stabilised United in the season and a half he has been the manager. Strengthening the defence, working on the midfield – bringing Paul Pogba back to the Theatre of Dreams, bringing a world-class striker in Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored 28 goals in his first season at the club, before injury hit – both without UEFA Champions League football. Mourinho has signed Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku already and is seemingly close to adding Alexis Sanchez to that list, losing Mkhitaryan.

United are a work in progress. Since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, before Mourinho, they had only won the FA Community Shield (2013) and the Emirates FA Cup (2016). Last season, United won the Community Shield again, then their first major honour under Mourinho, the EFL Cup, ending the season by winning the UEFA Europa League for the first time, the only major honour the club had never won, more importantly getting back into the Champions League.

This season, United have challenged for the Premier League, sitting second – 12 points behind City. They are out of the Carabao Cup, so will not retain the trophy they won last season, have advanced into the fourth round of the FA Cup, facing Yeovil Town later this month, also qualifying for the round of 16 in the Champions League, facing Sevilla over two legs starting in February. If you cannot see improvement there, you don’t know what improvement is. United have won honours, which are the main factor in football.

United have also turned their league form around going from the team that finished seventh (2013/14), fourth (2014/15), fifth (2015/16) and sixth (2016/17) place finishes, to actually mounting a serious challenge, which has at this moment in time been undone by some poor results and the domination of City to create a gap, which might be unrecoverable. Despite that, this is the first season United have been in a position to get amongst the challengers for the title, the first time in five years.

Mourinho will be two-thirds of the way through his current contract at the end of the season, but the reports of the new contract suggest he will remain at the Old Trafford club until the end of the 2021 season, with some suggestions that there is an extra year to be added on, which is the way United had been signing players and renewing contracts recently. Stability is what United needed. We all knew that and so did the club. That has started to come. There is nobody better than Mourinho to lead the club right now. The club seemingly wants Mourinho to continue, why wouldn’t they?

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copyright: JW

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