Manchester United have held detailed talks with Jose Mourinho's agent Jorge Mendes over extending their manager's contract beyond 2019, IBTimes UK understands.
The Portuguese tactician was appointed as Louis van Gaal's successor in the summer of 2016. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager was relieved of his duties at Old Traffrod, just days after he helped the Red Devils win the FA Cup in May 2016.
Mourinho signed a three-year deal at United, "with an option to stay at the club until at least 2020". He helped win the EFL Cup and the Europa League in his debut season, with the latter helping the club qualify for the Champions League this term.
United are second in the table with 47 points after 22 games and trail Pep Guardiola's Manchester City by 15 points. The Etihad club are leading the table and are firm favourites to win the title this season.
The ex-Real Madrid and Chelsea boss spent nearly £300m ($407.1m) in the signings since his arrival at United. However, he admitted it was not sufficient to challenge for the title, especially when City have spent more than the 20-time English champions since 2016 to bolster their squad.
Mourinho did stress that he is happy with the backing he has received in the transfer market and explained that the club need to further invest in order to challenge their local rivals in the title race. The Daily Mail reported his comments on United's spending was a dig at the Red Devils' board and there were fears that he could leave the club after the end of the season.
It is not the first time that Mourinho has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford in the summer. Paris Saint-Germain were reported to be keen on bringing the United manager to Parc des Princes, but Mourinho had revealed he will not end his career with his current employers.
IBTimes UK revealed in November that Mourinho has no plans of leaving United after the end of the 2017/18 season amid PSG links. We also reported that Mendes had initiated contract talks with the Old Trafford club, but there was no progress.
IBTimes UK can now confirm there has been progress as Mourinho's representatives and United are now locked in talks over extending his new deal. United are also happy with the progress made by their manager, both on and off the pitch during his 18-month spell.
The 54-year-old has also expressed his desire to continue at the club, while labelling the recent reports linking him with a move away from the Red Devils as "garbage".
"It depends on what you want to know and what you want to speak about. If you want to speak about some news, I say garbage! I don't find a better word to define the talk," Mourinho explained, as quoted by United's official website.
"If you want to ask me directly, which I suppose you want, if I see myself next season in Manchester United, I say I see myself [here] and, as I told you when I arrived, I am going to leave when the club wants me to leave because I have no intention to leave at all.
"My intention is to stay and to work and to improve and to bring the club to where the club belongs. I want to stay. I don't see any reason not to stay.
"So, yes, I still have a contract. In fact, I am in the middle of my contract, I'm not in the last couple of months. My desire is to stay. It's just a question of the club, the owners, the board, Mr [Ed] Woodward, [and what] they all want, [if] they all are happy with my contribution and they want me to stay beyond the end of this contract. But, yes, I want to stay."