Manchester United have announced that former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has become their new manager.
Mourinho, who has long been linked with a move to Old Trafford, succeeds Dutch coach Louis van Gaal who parted ways with the club on Monday after he failed to secure a place in next season’s Champions League.
The appointment of the Portuguese coach, 53, was announced just days after United’s FA Cup final against Crystal Palace and issues surrounding image rights played a part in delaying the process.
Announcing the appointment, Ed Woodward said: “Jose 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.”
Mourinho himself said: “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.”
Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea in December after a poor defence of their Premier League title, bringing to an end his second stint at Stamford Bridge.
The Portuguese had been heavily linked with the United job, with sources telling ESPN FC he would target Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane if he were to take over.
El Pais claimed a clause in the agreement said United would pay Mourinho £5 million if they did not appoint him before May 1, and a further £10m if they did not before June 1.
It quoted a source from his agent Jorge Mendes’ company Gestifute and said the reason for the clause was that senior figures at United, such as Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton, were not certain that he was the right man to take over.