With Manchester United now four points behind Manchester City in the race for the top four this week’s FA Cup quarter-final replay with West Ham looks to be Louis van Gaal’s last chance t save his job.
Lose and the Dutchman will almost certainly not start next season in the Old Trafford dugout and the betting suggests that former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho will be the man to fill his shoes.
So confident is the Portuguese of landing the role at the Theatre of Dreams, he is reported to have already drawn up a wish list of summer signings, with a Real Madrid double potentially getting the ball rolling. Mourinho is said to be lining up a sensational double swoop on the Bernabeu to land Raphael Varane and James Rodriguez.
The latter has failed to set the stage alight in La Liga after impressing at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and could be available for around £60m.
Varane has emerged as one of the top defensive talents in Europe in recent months, however, and could prove more difficult to lure to Old Trafford – especially if there is – as expected – a lack of Champions League football.
The 22-year-old Frenchman has featured 27 times for Real this season, helping Los Blancos to keep a clean sheet on no fewer than 14 occasions.
The former Lens man is contracted to the Bernabeu until 2020 so United would likely have to break the bank to secure his arrival.
The chance to partner him at the heart of a defence featuring a much-improved Chris Smalling, however, would give Mourinho a solid platform from which to work his magic should he land the Old Trafford gig.
United’s current crop will next be put to the test at Upton Park on Wednesday as they bid to reach Wembley and the Red Devils go into the game as 17/10 marginal underdogs. The Hammer can be backed at 13/8 with another draw on at 9/4.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.