Mourinho takes over as Manchester United manager

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The club have just released a statement on their website confirming the Portuguese as Louis van Gaal’s successor at Old Trafford on a three-year contract.

“José Mourinho will take over as manager of Manchester United from the 2016-17 season, signing a three-year contract with an option to stay at the club until at least 2020,” read the statement.

“José, 53, has managed at the top level of European football for over a decade and in that time has won league titles and cups in four countries [Portugal, England, Italy and Spain], as well as winning the Uefa Champions League twice, in 2004 with FC Porto and in 2010 with Inter Milan.”

Announcing the appointment, United’s executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, said:

“José is quite simply the best manager in the game today.

“He has won trophies and inspired players in countries across Europe and, of course, he knows the Premier League very well, having won three titles here.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome him to Manchester United. His track record of success is ideal to take the club forward.”

Woodward has been in negotiations with Mourinho’s agent, Jorge Mendes, since Tuesday with personal terms agreed quickly.

There were some issues surrounding Mourinho’s image rights, however, but they have now been resolved, allowing the 53-year-old to take on the task of reviving the 20-time champions of England, a role he says he has always coveted.

“To become Manchester United manager is a special honour in the game.

“It is a club known and admired throughout the world.

“There is a mystique and a romance about it which no other club can match.

“I have always felt an affinity with Old Trafford; it has hosted some important memories for me in my career and I have always enjoyed a rapport with the United fans.

“I’m looking forward to being their manager and enjoying their magnificent support in the coming years.”

This is Mourinho’s third managerial arrival in England following his appointment at Chelsea in 2004 and 2013.

His two spells at the London club both ended via a sacking, with the most recent coming last December when Chelsea, then Premier League champions, found themselves in 16th place and just one point above the relegation zone.

Six months on Mourinho is back in work and at the club where it is widely believed he wanted to be prior to returning to Stamford Bridge three years ago.

His first task will be putting together a backroom staff, which may or may not include Ryan Giggs. The United legend assisted both David Moyes and Van Gaal and has been offered a coaching role by the new manager but it is likely to be a reduced one, with Mourinho keen to bring long-term assistant Rui Faria with him to Old Trafford.

Mourinho’s first match as United manager will be the pre-season encounter with Borussia Dortmund in China on 22 July.

By then he may also have made his first purchases, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and John Stones among the players he is reportedly keen on signing.

Van Gaal was sacked by United last Monday having been manager at the club for two seasons and led them to victory in last weekend’s FA Cup final, their first major trophy success since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson.