Jose Mourinho has spoken of the ‘special honour’ to manage Manchester United after being confirmed as their new manager on a four-year contract with the option to cut ties after three years.
United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward hailed the former Chelsea boss as ‘the best manager in the game today’ after the club broke the news on football’s worst-kept secret on Friday morning.
Mourinho will earn £15million per year and work has already started on a summer recruitment drive with £200m available to create a squad capable of a Premier League title challenge.
‘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.’
FA Cup winners United sacked Louis van Gaal following their Wembley win against Crystal Palace and immediately set about finalising Mourinho’s arrival.
revealed on Monday that the Old Trafford club had already paid The Special One £4m not to take a job elsewhere while they decided on the future of his predecessor.
The finer details of his contract were ironed out with United chief Woodward this week before the announcement of Mourinho’s arrival was made at 9.30am on Friday morning.
BORN WINNER: JOSE MOURINHO’S 13 YEARS OF TROPHY WINS
Win percentage: 71.65
Trophies: Primeira Liga (2003, 2004); Portuguese Cup (2003); UEFA Cup (2003); Champions League (2004).
Win percentage: 67.03
Trophies: Premier League (2005, 2006); League Cup (2005, 2007); FA Cup (2007).
Inter Milan (2008-2010)
Win percentage: 62.04
Trophies: Serie A (2009, 2010); Italian Cup (2010); Champions League (2010)
Real Madrid (2010-2013)
Win percentage: 71.91
Trophies: Primera Division (2012); Copa del Rey (2011).
Chelsea (second spell: 2013-2015)
Win percentage: 58.82
Trophies: Premier League (2015); League Cup (2015).
‘Jose is quite simply the best manager in the game today,’ Woodward said. ‘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.’
Although no official confirmation has been offered on his backroom staff, Mourinho will bring long-term lieutenants Rui Faria and Silvino Louro with him to United.
Ryan Giggs is still yet to decide on his future with the current assistant being offered a more junior role under the new boss.
Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea in December after a disastrous start to their Premier League title defence that saw the Blues languishing in 16th place.
A ninth league loss in 16 matches spelled the end of his reign, which the club’s technical director Michael Emenalo blamed on ‘palpable discord’ between the manager and his players.
The success of the season previous brought the Portuguese coach a third crown from the English top division and his immediate aim will be to secure a fourth at United when the new season begins in August.
He will be backed by a £200m transfer budget with a summer spending spree on the cards and initial targets already identified.
Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is in line for a reunion with the manager he worked under at Inter Milan while Mourinho also has eyes on Everton’s John Stones and Atletico Madrid star Saul Niguez.