Ending all the speculation surrounding his future, Portuguese tactician Jose Mourinho on Thursday agreed to extend his contract with Manchester United till at least 2020 on the eve of the Red Devils’ FA Cup fourth round tie with Yeovil Town.
“Jose Mourinho has signed an extension to his contract at Manchester United in a move that sees him commit his future to the Old Trafford club until at least 2020, with an option for a further year,” a club statement read.
Mourinho, who has coached rival side Chelsea twice in the past, joined the Red half of Manchester in 2016 and has engineered a revival of sorts.
In his first season (2016-17 campaign) with the Red Devils, they finished 6th in the Premier League but notably lifted the UEFA Europa League and the EFL Cup, hereby qualifying for UEFA Champions League.
Considering United’s lack of success in the post-Alex Ferguson era, that would have been a remarkable achievement but the fact that the Portuguese made several big moves in the transfer market made fans demand more progress, especially in the Premier League.
This season, United initially kept pace with derby rivals Manchester City but the Citizens quickly pulled away from the pack and the Red Devils are now a distant second. A disappointing loss to lower-league side Bristol City ended hopes of a successful EFL Cup title defence, but Mourinho’s men topped their Champions League group and are in the fourth round of the FA Cup as well.
United have made several big name additions to their squad this season as well, with Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku joining the likes of Paul Pogba and their latest acquisition—Alexis Sanchez— has raised hopes of the United faithful.
Traditionally, Mourinho has not remained at a club beyond three seasons, giving rise to the term that the self-styled Special One has a three year cycle and with him nearing the final year of his contact, United fans were worried he would leave the club after the 2018-19 season at best.
However, the extension affirms his desire to stay at the club long-term, as he has repeatedly stated to the media this season.