Jose Mourinho's long-awaited move to Manchester United is reportedly being delayed by a wrangle over image rights. The Portuguese coach is among the most marketable managers in the modern game and United are currently trying to wade through a legal minefield so he can be formally announced as the Old Trafford club's new boss.
The dispute dates back to Mourinho's first spell in charge at Chelsea, when the Blues registered his name and his signature as a European trademark in 2005. As a result, the Stamford Bridge club are still legally entitled to sell a host of Mourinho-related merchandise, including toiletries, clothing and jewellery.
United are currently trying to seek a resolution to the unusual problem, and the Premier League giants have a number of options available to them. The Red Devils could, for example, pay Chelsea for a licence so they can use Mourinho's name on club merchandise, or they could simply ask their soon-to-be-boss to buy the trademark back.
On the other hand, United may opt to not use Mourinho's name against the list of items that Chelsea have registered. Although given Mourinho's status and United's commercial savvy, that option appears unlikely.
Finally, the club could challenge the trademark if they think they can prove it has not been used by Chelsea. But, again, that option is said to be unlikely, because there are still various Mourinho-related items being sold by the Stamford Bridge club, who sacked him for a second time in December.
Among the other issues delaying the much-discussed move is a conflict between Mourinho's personal endorsements and United's own sponsors. The former Chelsea boss already has a contract with car manufacturer Jaguar, while United's shirts are sponsored by the US motoring giant Chevrolet. However, it could be that Mourinho maintains his links to Jaguar by only promoting Chevrolet while on club duty.
None of these problems are thought likely to scupper any prospective deal, but they have certainly complicated the negotiations between Mourinho's agent Jorge Mendes and United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward. Widespread reports claim Mourinho is likely to be announced as the club's new manager by the end of the week.