With Manchester United second favourites to win the FA Cup and now just a point behind Manchester City in the race for the top four, speculation around the future of Louis van Gaal has died down.
Media reports have had the Dutchman on the brink of losing his job for months now but in the wake of the Red Devils’ derby win over Manchester City last week the rumours have been somewhat quelled.
However, this week has seen two of the biggest hints yet that United will part ways with Van Gaal regardless of how the rest of the season pans out, with Jose Mourinho looking increasingly likely to take over at Old Trafford.
First of all United’s latest promotional video for the summer tour of China failed to mention the current manager even once, and secondly the latest transfer target being linked with the Red Devils is another native Portuguese speaker.
According to reports in Italy, United have identified Inter Milan defender Joao Miranda as the man to partner the ever-improving Chris Smalling at the heart of defence next season.
The 31-year-old Brazilian is rated as one of the best centre backs in Europe but with his two-year loan spell at Inter – from Atletico Madrid – due to expire in the summer his future is largely in doubt, with United preparing to step in.
According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Inter have an option to make their current deal permanent but any hesitation could see United snap the Selecao star up for a cut price.
United are currently priced at 9/5 to secure a top four finish this season but if the Old Trafford club can pair Miranda and Smalling in defence the bar will be set much higher in 2016-17.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.