So, if reports are to be believed, it seems like Manchester United have been very silly over the last month or so.
According to Spanish paper El Pais, the Red Devils have made a pre-contract agreement with – you guessed it – Jose Mourinho.
We’ve been speculating about the ‘Special One’ heading to Old Trafford for a while now, so it’s not exactly a huge surprise to read a report that the United hierarchy have made some sort of an agreement with the Portuguese.
What is a surprise, if El Pais is to be believed, is the fact that if United now renege on signing Mourinho up as manager, or don’t sign him before June 1, they will owe the man £15 million.
Pretty ridiculous, eh?
And here’s why it’s a problem:
On one level, Mourinho to United makes absolute sense. A winner, with a proven track record of winning titles, heading to a club that desperately needs to start winning titles again. Or, at the very least, being touted as potential winners.
The match made in heaven, right?
But leaving aside the fact that it seems certain members of the United board are not 100 percent happy with the idea of Mourinho as boss, there is still a potential problem here.
I’ll whisper it, but United could finish in the top four.
In fact, after Marcus Rashford’s winner on Sunday assured United of their third win over City since 2012, they’ve actually got a very good chance of finishing in the top four.
Just a point shy of their fourth-placed city rivals, United now have every chance of getting a Champions League spot.
Where would that leave their relationship with Louis van Gaal?
United have always prided themselves on the fact that they’re a club that does things differently.
They don’t sack managers willy-nilly. They give the man in charge time to make his impression, and they treat their employees with the respect that they believe is due to them.
So how would it look if they were to sack the manager who has just secured them Champions League qualification?
Could they do it?
It would certainly undermine their superiority, and the question is whether this is something United are prepared to do.
If Louis van Gaal does lead his team into the top four, and United do choose to retain his services, Jose Mourinho will reportedly be due a very big cheque. And even for a club like Manchester United, £15 million is not a figure to be sniffed at.
If this is true, United have messed up here. Let’s wait and see how badly.