Manchester United could bring in Jose Mourinho before the end of this month, according to reports.

Saturday afternoon’s 2-1 defeat at Sunderland has once again alarmed the Old Trafford hierarchy and there is also increasing concern as Louis van Gaal publicly gave up on a top-four finish.

However, Manchester United so far had been willing to stick with the 64-year-old Dutch tactician until the summer but now they think they will not be losing anything by swooping for the former Chelsea manager before their next league fixture at home to Arsenal on 28th February, as per the report from The Sun.

Before that United will play two legs in the Europa League tie against Danish club Midtjylland with the FA Cup trip to Shrewsbury sandwiched in between the two legs.

Louis van Gaal has also been believed to be taken only a short-term let on his new house, which means he might leave at any time.

Despite having splashed out £250million under LVG, the Red Devils currently have their worst-ever points total at this stage of a Premier League season, with 41 from 26 matches.

They have managed to win only 11 of those and have netted the least goals of the top seven with 33.

The United hierarchy is now convinced that if they appoint Mourinho as the new manager, it would be a popular stunt with the supporters. The club even pay very close attention to supporters’ views in polls and on social media.

Meanwhile, Mourinho is ready to grab the opportunity when United decides to make their final call, which is now looking sooner rather than later.

United chief executive Woodward has so far managed to resist increasing calls for the 64-year-old Dutch tactician’s head but the pressure has increased recently with Pep Guardiola joining arch rivals Manchester City in the summer.

However, even if the club hierarchy decides to release van Gaal from his duty before the season ends, there is some problem; the figures involved with the Dutch manager’s contract would force even the most cunning businessman to think twice.

Van Gaal’s contract has a hefty payoff value, with the 64-year-old can collect another £10 million over the course of the remaining 17 months of his £7m-per-year contract. As it happens in most of the football contracts, an early termination by any club wouldn’t release them from the financial commitment and so it remains a huge consideration in the decision-making process. Not only that, you can include the severance packages which would be due to the United manager’s five-man backroom staff, and if they decide to dismiss van Gaal in the mid-season it would become a costly exercise for sure.