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José Mourinho has been appointed the new manager of Manchester United.
The club released a statement on their website on Friday morning confirming the Portuguese as Louis van Gaal’s successor at Old Trafford on a three-year contract.
Manhester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson (L) and Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho (R) as Manchester United's Wayne Rooney (C) is substituted
“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 a statement on United’s website. “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.”
Woodward has been in negotiations with Mourinho’s agent, Jorge Mendes, since Tuesday with personal terms agreed quickly. There were some complexities 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.
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“To become Manchester United manager is a special honour in the game,” Mourinho said. “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.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho gestures to Porto fans as they chant his name
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.
This article was written by Guardian sport, for theguardian.com on Friday 27th May 2016 09.38 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010