Manchester: According to British tabloid The Daily Mirror, Mourinho called Louis Van Gaal in the last few weeks to warn him that United had sounded him out about the Old Trafford job.
Mourinho worked under Van Gaal at Barcelona in the late 1990s and made the call to preserve their long-standing friendship, said the report.
The Times newspaper said it understood Van Gaal finally agreed a severance package of £4.55 million.
Mourinho seemed destined to manage Utd ever since his Porto side eliminated Ferguson’s men from the 2004 Champions League. He thought his time had come when Ferguson retired in 2013, but concerns over his volatile nature prompted Utd to turn to the more reserved David Moyes instead. But with that move proving a disaster and Van Gaal faring little better, United’s powerbrokers have decided to take a chance on Mourinho.
Mourinho will hope to have significantly improved an unbalanced and often lacklustre Utd squad by the time the new season begins in August.
Outgoing Paris Saint-Germain forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Mario, Everton defender John Stones, Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic and Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann are reportedly among the names on manager Mourinho’s most wanted list.