Jose Mourinho's camp are getting "frustrated" with the lack of movement regarding the Manchester United job, sources have told ESPN FC, and his representatives are beginning to investigate other options.
Mourinho has long wanted the Old Trafford job and it had seemed the time was finally right for him to get it, with the Portuguese parting ways with Chelsea just at the time when it seemed that Louis van Gaal was set to suffer the same fate at United after an awful December.
Sources say that Mourinho's representatives got in touch with the Old Trafford hierarchy within 24 hours of his Chelsea dismissal, and have asked to be kept abreast of the situation ever since. They have now been made aware, however, that the preference of United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is to stick with Van Gaal, and to give him time to turn the situation around.
Many around the Old Trafford leadership had expected Van Gaal to be sacked around the 0-0 draw with Chelsea in Dec. 28, but Woodward has stayed resolute.
That has meant there is still no opening for Mourinho, although sources say he has also been made aware that a number of figures among the United hierarchy still do not want him at the club.
ESPN FC has been told that the former Chelsea manager also turned down an offer to return to Real Madrid, both because he didn't like the idea of going back there midseason after leaving in 2013, and because he was holding out for United.
Now, although he does not want to totally turn his back on the possibility of taking over at Old Trafford -- and some at United have asked Mourinho to be kept aware of his movements -- the Portuguese's camp have reluctantly accepted that they may have to investigate other options, especially since he wants to get back to football as quickly as possible.
His representatives already reached out to both Paris Saint-Germain and Internazionale as far back as October, when Chelsea's poor season was getting particularly problematic. Sources say that, despite the widespread expectation that Mourinho would only take an elite job, he might yet surprise people by going a little lower.
His No. 1 target remains the United job, though, and the situation is said to have frustrated the manager and all those around him.