Jose Mourinho has undertaken a deep and detailed charm offensive to finally convince Manchester United he is the man to be their next manager, sources have told ESPN FC.
Conscious of opposition to his appointment among some of the Old Trafford hierarchy, Mourinho has written a six-page letter explaining how much he desires the job and would be willing to conform to club principles, as well as offering a detailed plan for the team, sources say.
The manager's agent Jorge Mendes released a statement on Saturday night denying Mourinho had written a letter.
"It doesn't cross anyone's mind that a manager such [as] Jose Mourinho is writing letters to clubs, asking for a job," Mendes wrote. "It's ridiculous and absolutely nonsense."
United's under-pressure manager Louis van Gaal lost his sixth league game of the season on Saturday, 1-0 at home against Southampton, and there is now a widespread feeling he will go in the summer, if not before then.
Mourinho, who sources said is "relaxed" about his future, was himself sacked by Chelsea in December after a dismal start to the season, but he immediately targeted United as his next job -- one he has reportedly long desired.
His representatives got in touch with the Old Trafford hierarchy very quickly last month, but there is still existing opposition to hiring him, though some board members are more open to appointing him than when Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, sources say.
Some power-brokers at United still believe Mourinho's history of controversy, defensive football and hesitance to promote academy players do not fit with the club's ideals.
Mourinho is aware of this and sources say this is one reason he has taken the extraordinary step of writing a lengthy letter describing how much he wants the job, with forensic analysis of the team.