Jose Mourinho is back in the game – having now agreed a deal to take over at Manchester United.
The Portuguese coach is stepping into the shoes of his friend and former United boss Louis van Gaal who was sacked on the weekend, despite winning the FA Cup on Saturday.
Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea in December, and has been waiting in the wings for since then, but now he’s back – and he finally has the job he’s coveted for so long.
But what will happen when he is? Here are a handful of guarantees.
1. David De Gea will stay
This might be the biggest plus point of Mourinho’s imminent arrival. De Gea’s on then off then on again and then off again transfer to Real Madrid has been a shadow hanging over the club for far too long. That seems certain to lift with Jose in town.
Jorge Mendes, Mourinho’s agent, is soon to become a very powerful man at Old Trafford and counts the Spanish goalkeeper as one of his many clients.
Having two of his most profile men at the same club is sure to appeal while Mourinho is unlikely to want to lose such a key figure so early in his tenure.
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic will join
Perhaps less of a “will” happen than a “likely to”. Ibrahimovic is on the move this summer after a glittering spell in France and has suitors all over the globe fluttering their eyelashes in his direction.
Cash is king in the land of Zlatan, of course, but should he choose to go with his heart over his wallet then a reunion with Mourinho would be high on his list.
“My only regret is that we were together for only one year,” says Zlatan of his single season under Mourinho at Inter Milan. He may well get his wish now.
3. It won’t get any prettier
Jose’s teams are always built from back to front and have consistently placed a heavy emphasis on defending.
United’s rearguard isn’t as bad as you might think – they had the joint best defence in the Premier League last season. It’s the other end that was the problem all year long.
It’s not exciting. It’s not flamboyant. It’s not remotely entertaining. But unlike Van Gaal’s all too similar playing style Mourinho’s actually works. They will score more goals – but not many more.
4. The production line will take a hit
It has been one of the major concerns over Mourinho’s record elsewhere that he has brought through very few players from the youth teams at clubs where he was manager.
And the few example of him doing so are often during highly-toxic situations – remember the promotion of Antonio Adán at the expense of Iker Casillas during Real Madrid’s Mourinho-inspired civil war.
One of the few bright spots at Old Trafford this year has been the amount of young blood that has been thrust into the first team, so Mourinho would be expected to at least find some sort of middle ground.
5. They will win the title – and then he’ll leave
This is almost a guarantee on both fronts.
Everywhere Mourinho has gone he’s won the league. Like night following day come May Mourinho will be holding the trophy aloft.
But, again like night following day, it will all almost certainly go wrong in a blaze of bad blood and bitterness.
See. Chelsea (2013-2015).
Manchester United know what they’re getting into bed with – a relentless winner with a boatload of baggage. In their eyes he’s worth the latter for the promise of the former.