According to his agent, Jose Mourinho did not send a letter to Manchester United in an attempt to convince the club's hierarchy to appoint him as their future manager. The former Chelsea boss' agent, Jorge Mendes, has denied claims that Mourinho wrote a six-page letter to the club in an effort to calm their fears over his capacity to succeed Louis van Gaal.
The Independent on Sunday, which published the report yesterday (24 January 2016), understands that the document contained a commitment to changing his managerial philosophy, "a forensic analysis" of the club's current season – which, following the 1-0 defeat to Southampton on 23 January, sees the club 10 points adrift of Premier League leaders Leicester City – suggestions of how to combat their plight as well as possible signings. Mourinho is apparently confident that the document could sway those inside Old Trafford who have doubts regarding his capacity to manage the club.
Concerns – ranging from his regular criticism of referees and run-ins with the FA, his style of football and failure to nurture young players – have contributed to him twice being overlooked for the role at United, with David Moyes and current boss Louis van Gaal appointed instead. But with Van Gaal now expected to leave the club at the end of the season, the position could be available again.
However, the validity of the document has been called into question by Mourinho's representative Mendes, who claims such suggestions are "ridiculous and totally absurd". The agent wrote on his website Gestifute.com: "It does not occur to anyone that a coach like Jose Mourinho can write letters to clubs offering their services. It is absolutely ridiculous and totally absurd."
A fifth home defeat of the season, and second in as many games, to Southampton sees Van Gaal as the bookmakers' favourite to become the next Premier League manager to lose his job. United are well off the pace in the title race, and are five points behind fourth-place Tottenham Hotspur in the race for a Champions League place.
United's best chance of silverware this term now lies in the FA Cup, where they face Derby County in the fourth round at Pride Park on Friday (29 January), and the Europa League – a competition that also represents their simplest route into next season's Champions League. The 20-time English league champions face Danish side FC Midtjylland in the last 32 on 18 and 25 February.