Jose Mourinho is considering approaching Arsenal to offer himself as a replacement for Arsene Wenger this summer according to Duncan Castles.
Writing for One World Sports, Castles suggests Mourinho has been asked by third parties to avoid committing himself to any new job in order to make himself available.
Given that this is from Castles, the mouthpiece of Mourinho’s agent Jorge Mendes, you can pretty much take this as a polite nudge in the side for Manchester United – hurry up and get this contract finalised, otherwise you might miss out on him.
It’s a classic move in terms of negotiation, almost as classic as a player saying they are interested in a move to Man United only to sign a new and improved contract with their current club just a few weeks later. We’ve seen it happen too many times before to not be suspicious now when a player says it.
With Mourinho, we’re heading into April with United in no stronger a position than they were a couple of months ago. There’s been no renaissance. We might be in the scrap for a top four spot but having done that last year, United needed to progress – we haven’t. That means Louis van Gaal is a dead man walking if you ask me.
There’s no doubting that Mourinho is one of the strongest candidates on paper to replace van Gaal but at this stage it’s gone no further than reports of a pre-contract agreement being signed. If those rumours from El Pais in Spain are true, Mourinho will receive a windfall of €5m if the deal isn’t finalised by May 1. That gives Ed Woodward five weeks to solve it without monetary repercussions and that’s something he’d be desperate to avoid given that he is a money man.
Do I believe Mourinho could go to Arsenal? The specialists in failure, to put it in Jose’s words. Not a chance. Wenger will have just as much say in his replacement as Sir Alex Ferguson did and I doubt he’d want to see Jose come in.