Jose Mourinho “could save” Manchester United when appointed as manager, says former goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel.
Louis van Gaal was sacked on Monday just two days after winning the FA Cup, ending a two-year spell in charge.
“On the top of Mourinho’s list was always Manchester United, now he has the opportunity,” Schmeichel, 52, told BBC Radio 5 live.
Mourinho’s appointment is expected to be confirmed after the Portuguese meets senior United officials on Tuesday.
BBC Sport reported on Saturday that United’s FA Cup win over Crystal Palace would be Van Gaal’s last game in charge.
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The Dutchman led the Red Devils to fourth place in his first season, but missed out on Champions League qualification this season after finishing fifth.
Van Gaal, 64, leaves two years into a three-year contract after spending Monday discussing severance terms. He is believed to earn around £6.4m a year.
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Former Chelsea boss Mourinho, 53, has been out of work since being sacked by the Blues in December.
He won three league titles in his two spells at Stamford Bridge, as well as guiding Porto and Inter Milan to Champions League victories in 2004 and 2010 respectively.
He was previously linked with the Old Trafford post when Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, but the club appointed David Moyes instead.
Schmeichel said the club had “moved a little bit backwards in terms of its philosophy and traditions”.
“Mourinho is not an easy call to make for the owners and leaders because if he was the right man, he would have been picked before, that was the obvious choice,” said Schmeichel.
“He has fallen out with a director of football at a club, a president, a team doctor. He has done things that are not in the way Manchester United wants the football club to run.
“All these issues would have been brought up and I am sure it will have been run by Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton. Without them saying ‘yes’ to him, it would not happen. Therefore if he comes in he is a good choice.
“He will be prepared and ready to do it but he has to go back to the values of the football club – a very strong team consisting of exciting players which are creating chances and scoring goals. All that has been missing.
“Now they have a guy that is supposed to be the biggest manager in the world, the one that really could save Manchester United. It has been a brave decision but one that is long overdue.
“Mourinho knows why he has not been asked in the past, would you not then change yourself and accommodate what the job really is about at this football club?”