Phil Neville believes Jose Mourinho will have Manchester United challenging for titles once more but does not expect the manager to hang around for long.
Mourinho will replace manager Louis van Gaal in the coming days, widespread reports suggest, after United finished fifth in the Premier League and missed out on the Champions League.
United beat Crystal Palace at Wembley on Saturday to win the FA Cup but the victory is not expected to save Van Gaal, who has failed to produce either a Premier League title challenge or brand of football in line with the club’s traditions.
Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea in December after a miserable start to the season. Despite success throughout his career, the Portuguese has never managed a club for longer than the three years and three months he spent at Chelsea in his first spell.
“I can’t see him staying too long at Man United, maybe two or three years, that seems to be his shelf life at a football club,” Neville told BBC Five Live’s Sportsweek programme.
“When Jose finishes at a club it tends to be a pattern where he falls out with a few players, he gets disgruntled and the team dips.
“It happened at Chelsea, it certainly happened at Real Madrid where there were rumours he fell out with a few players. It’s a pattern with Jose, he comes into a club, he gets success but he doesn’t stay for too long.”
United have now failed to finish higher than fourth in any of the three seasons since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
Mourinho has a proven track record in England, having won the title three times with Chelsea, and Neville believes the former Madrid boss will already have a plan to achieve success again.
“He’s a proven winner, a proven champion. United fans want a team that will challenge for the league title, not a team that finishes seventh or fifth, and Jose is probably the man for the job,” Neville said.
“Knowing Jose as I do, I think he will have done his homework and he’s meticulous in his planning.
“Don’t be surprised if United in the next month, and particularly before the Euros, sign three or four players and when he gets to pre-season he has his squad already in place.
“He knows who he wants and at the start he will demand United sign those players for United to become championship challengers again.”