Jose Mourinho, Manchester United Deal Claimed by Inter Director Bedy Moratti

Gianni VerschuerenFeatured ColumnistFebruary 20, 2016

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09:  Jose Mourinho manager of Chelsea reacts during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Chelsea FC and FC Porto at Stamford Bridge on December 9, 2015 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Inter Milan director Bedy Moratti has claimed Jose Mourinho will be the next Manchester United manager.

The sister of former Inter director Massimo Moratti had dinner with Mourinho and his family and afterwards told reporters (h/t Daily Mirror's Hamish Mackay) the Special One has already agreed to join the Red Devils.

When asked if he might return to Inter, she said: "No, he's happy now, he's going to Manchester."

Per Football Italia, the slip was caught on camera. Mourinho is in Milan to cheer on his former club when they take on Sampdoria on Saturday.

Massimo Moratti was a little more guarded when asked the same question, telling (h/t Football Italia) Mourinho wouldn't tell him where he'll go next:

Is he going to Manchester United? I am not sure, he doesn't want to tell anyone. ...

It was a meeting between friends, made up of great memories. Could he return to Inter in future? We didn't talk about that, he is thinking of his future and Inter are not seeking other coaches.

We relived 2010 and other memories of the past. This idea of a get-together started a while back. A year ago we thought of a big meeting between those who won the Champions League.

Mourinho is widely expected to replace current United manager Louis van Gaal, who seems to be edging closer to the exit door with every passing day.

The latest rumors claim the Dutchman has now lost the faith of the club's senior players, who want Mourinho to take his place, per Jamie Jackson and Ed Aarons of the Guardian:

While Van Gaal is generally well liked among the squad, the Guardian has learned this influential faction has been unsure for a while about him being able to turn the side's fortunes around.

Thursday's dismal 2-1 defeat at Midtjylland in the Europa League last-32 first leg has reaffirmed this view of Van Gaal, with players uneasy about his tactics and training methods. United face the struggling League One side Shrewsbury in the FA Cup on Monday.

The UEFA Europa League defeat against FC Midtjylland couldn't have come at a worse time for Van Gaal, and coupled with the team's spotty form in the Premier League, there's even a chance United officials elect to appoint a new manager before the end of the season in an attempt to salvage UEFA Champions League football.

Should the Red Devils decide to make a change now, Mourinho is available, and Moratti's comments surely are telling, per James Robson of the Manchester Evening News:

While it's far from a guarantee, one has to assume Mourinho wouldn't tell old friends and Inter club officials he's headed for Manchester unless positive negotiations are already ongoing. What that means for Van Gaal's immediate future is unclear, but at the very least, it seems likely Mourinho will be running things at Old Trafford next season.