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English Premier League

Jose Mourinho close to signing new contract at Manchester United

Portuguese likely to extend deal at Old Trafford beyond June 2019 according to reports in British media

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 January, 2018, 10:51am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 January, 2018, 10:51am

Manchester United are close to reaching an agreement with manager Jose Mourinho over a contract extension that would keep him at the club until 2021, British media said on Tuesday.

The reports said there had been good progress in talks and the Portuguese was likely to stay at Old Trafford for longer than the three-year deal he signed through to June 2019.

Mourinho has described his commitment to United as “total” and said he wanted to “bring the club to where the club belongs”. He has described reports he could leave as “garbage”.

The 54-year-old won the League Cup and Europa League in his first season in charge, though United finished sixth in the league.

They currently sit second, 12 points behind local rivals Manchester City, and are in the Champions League last 16 and FA Cup fourth round.

Meanwhile, Mourinho believes Paul Pogba is becoming a commanding figure in United’s side after the midfielder extended his personal unbeaten record in the Premier League to 35 matches.

The Frenchman joined United for a then world-record £89.3 million (US$118.2 million) from Juventus in 2016.

He took time to settle and last month United great Paul Scholes accused him of “just strolling through games”.

But Monday’s 3-0 win at home to Stoke, a result that meant United closed to within 12 points of Premier League leaders Manchester City, saw Pogba provide assists for goals by Antonio Valencia and Anthony Martial with well-judged passes.

“He was moving the ball fantastically well,” Mourinho told the club’s television channel MUTV.

“[With] long passes, changing of direction, creating problems to the opponent in relation to their [midfield] block. Assists. If he scores the free-kick with the last shot of the game it would be really a reward for him.”

Mourinho added: “He’s happy the way the team is playing – very adapted to him. He’s happy because the team is changing the profile and the profile is going more in his direction.”

Pogba is now level with the City duo of Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane at the top of this season’s Premier League assists chart, having helped set up nine goals.