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EPL 2016-17: Jose Mourinho was offered a chance to succeed Sir Alex at Manchester United in the 'back of a van'

Sumedh Pande
1.67K   //    11 Oct 2016, 13:14 IST
MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 13: Sir Alex Ferguson (L), manager of Manchester United, stands besides head coach Jose Mourinho of Real Madrid during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between Real Madrid and Manchester United at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on February 13, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Manchester United board wanted Jose Mourinho to succeed SAF but he had already given his word to Chelsea

It is a well-known fact that Manchester United wanted to appoint Jose Mourinho as Sir Alex Ferguson’s heir. Reports in the Daily Mail have stated that the meeting happened in Spain in the back of a car between Ed Woodward and Mourinho. The Portuguese was with Real Madrid then but then as fate would have it, Mourinho rejoined Chelsea while United appointed former Everton manager, David Moyes.

Woodward had flown into Madrid in 2013 to lure Mourinho away from the Los Blancos but was snubbed as the Portuguese had already given his word to Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovic. Mourinho always rates loyalty highly and had thought that a move back to Stamford Bridge would be ideal for him as succeeding Sir Alex was a task that seemed impossible until now.

United had hoped that an ideal situation would involve the Portuguese ace replacing the outgoing legend in order for the team to continue challenging for trophies. The feeling in the United dressing room was also that Mourinho’s personality could fill in the void left by Fergie’s departure.

Also read: Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho's training methods for Liverpool revealed

It was also reported that Mourinho would have been happy in succeeding the Scotsman at United but the Chelsea owner's intervention made all the difference as the 53-year-old went back to Chelsea where he was revered by the Blues supporters.

The meeting in April 2013 between United chairman, Ed Woodward and Jose Mourinho took place in the back of a vehicle with blackened windows outside Vicente Calderon while Mourinho's Real faced rivals, Atletico Madrid. It did not fall according to plan for Woodward and United as the Red Devils later appointed David Moyes who was sacked after less than a year in charge after transfer inactivity and a lowly seventh-placed finish in the league table.

Ryan Giggs was then named interim manager for four football games after Moyes’ dismissal.

United then roped in Louis Van Gaal to bring back the lost glory but the Dutchman too failed in his attempts. After spending over £250 million in his reign, he too was sacked in May paving the way for Jose Mourinho to finally join the Red Devils for the current season.

It was in June this year that Ed Woodward finally got the man that United had been chasing for years to fill the gaping hole left by the great Sir Alex Ferguson's departure.

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Sumedh Pande
An avid Premier League watcher with specialization in transfer news and post match analysis. Follow European and Indian football with minute attention with one eye on the world of cricket.
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