Jose Mourinho is said to have called Louis van Gaal in recent weeks to inform the Dutch manager that Manchester United had approached him.
Van Gaal’s dismissal was confirmed in a statement by United on Monday evening, with the Red Devils set to tie up the appointment of Mourinho during meetings with the manager and his agent Jorge Mendes in the coming days.
Mourinho has been linked with the job at Old Trafford since being fired in December by Chelsea, with Saturday’s FA Cup final victory on Saturday not enough to save Van Gaal.
According to The Mirror, Mourinho phoned Van Gaal in “the last couple of weeks” to inform him that United had made an approach. The Portuguese boss is said to have been keen to preserve his friendship with the former Holland manager, with the pair having worked together at Barcelona for three years up until the end of the 1999-2000 season.
Up until the call from Mourinho, Van Gaal was steadfast in his belief that he would be allowed to see out his three-year contract at Old Trafford. Instead, the 64-year-old leaves the club with a pay-off of nearly £5million, which includes a £400,000 bonus for lifting the FA Cup, after United’s failure to secure a top-four spot and a place in next season’s Champions League.
Barcelona's bench in 1999 featuring Louis van Gaal, Ronald Koeman and Jose Mourinho. pic.twitter.com/XT0DhcW5pH
— 90s Football (@90sfootball) December 29, 2015