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An announcement could then be made on Wednesday, although the situation is thought to be fluid.
Van Gaal responded by saying, “No, no, it’s over” when asked for comment by a Sky Sports reporter yesterday as he left the Corinthia hotel in central London, where the United squad had stayed and celebrated long into the night after Saturday’s 2-1 extra-time victory over Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final, before travelling back to Manchester by train with his players and staff.
Rooney said he thought it was “unfair after we have just won the Cup to speak about the manager’s future” but he believes the Palace victory could serve as a springboard, even though the captain admitted there would have to be a huge improvement at the club next season. “Certainly in the Premier League, it wasn’t good enough, we dropped too many points.
We finished where we deserved to finish so we have to improve on that, we know that.
Mourinho is also keen to entice John Stones to Old Trafford, having tried and failed to sign the England centre-half from Everton when in charge at Chelsea last summer, although United face stiff competition from the Portuguese’s former club and Manchester City.
The Sweden striker (34) won Serie A under Mourinho at Inter Milan.But Van Gaal is said to have been referring to his side’s season rather than his own job and it is thought Woodward had yet to inform the manager as of yesterday afternoon that he will be replaced by Mourinho, who is expected to bring trusted assistants Rui Faria and Silvino Louro with him to United.It remains to be seen if Ryan Giggs, Van Gaal’s No 2, is offered or accepts a coaching role.Jose Mourinho is expected to make Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic one of his first signings as Manchester United manager as the club prepare to confirm in the next 72 hours that the Portuguese has succeeded Louis van Gaal.Jorge Mendes, Mourinho’s agent, is due to leave China today with a view to arriving in England tomorrow to finalise the personal terms of the former Chelsea manager’s contract with United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
One concern for United, though, is the forthcoming full public employment tribunal of former Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro.