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United cut for the 2017 Premier League title as Mourinho prepares to replace LVG
The worst kept secret in football was finally confirmed on Monday as Louis van Gaal was shown the exit door by Manchester United, just days after lifting the FA Cup at Wembley. The Dutchman was handed his P45 and the bookmakers have been quick to react to the imminent arrival of Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford...
From Champions League Also-Rans To Champions?
Van Gaal has lasted two years in Manchester, guiding the club to a fourth place finish in his first season and a fifth place effort during the most recent campaign. The fans demand so much more than Europa League football next season though and they went from 13/2 to 6/1 to win the 2016/17 Premier League title following the news that Van Gaal was leaving (Paddy Power).
Jose Mourinho is set to take over after being sacked by Chelsea in December and plenty have misgivings about a manager who seemingly has a three-year shelf life - one season to re-build, one season to win trophies and then a season of falling out with anyone and everyone.
Mourinho takes over a United side that managed their worst league goal tally (49) since the 1989/90 campaign as Van Gaal came in for some withering criticism of his unadventurous style of play but will his replacement provide anything different?
It is difficult to see Mourinho swerving too far from his usual style of play but the former Chelsea boss does have the benefit of taking over a team that had the joint-best defensive record (along with Tottenham) in the Premier League, conceding just 35 goals.
It is in the attacking third that United could do with strengthening and Zlatan Ibrahimovic has gone from 7/2 last week to 1/3 odds on to join United (Paddy Power). The Swedish striker has stated that he will leave Paris Saint-Germain and could link up with Mourinho again.
Meanwhile, Mourinho might be tempted to try and raid another of his former clubs, Real Madrid, for players and the much-vaunted BBC have all been linked with United. Indeed, Karim Benzema is 1/2 odds on to join United next (Bet Victor), while Gareth Bale is 6/5 and Cristiano Ronaldo is 8/5.
It has been reported that Mourinho has given the Old Trafford board a shortlist of transfer targets, with John Stones chief amongst those. The Everton defender has gone from 6/1 to 3/1 to join United next, while Juventus star Paul Pogba was cut in from 20/1 to 8/1 for a move to United (Sky Bet).
With an array of attacking talent possibly heading to United, it is difficult to see where Juan Mata fits in after he was forced out of Chelsea by Mourinho a few years ago. Mata is 10/1 to join Atletico Madrid this summer, while he is 12/1 to go to Sevilla or 12/1 to join Arsenal.
Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney is as short as 4/1 to return to Everton or 8/1 to go to a Chinese Super League club, although he is 1/6 to stay at United and it remains to be seen how he fits into Mourinho's plans. Will he be a midfield enforcer or a forward?
2016/17 Premier League Odds
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