Former Porto striker Benni McCarthy has backed Jose Mourinho to turn around Manchester United’s fortunes should the club dispose of Louis van Gaal.
The Dutch coach has been heavily criticised by United fans this season for the style of football on show, while also struggling to keep the club in the Premier League title race.
A meek exit in the Champions League sees them drop into the Europa League in the second half of the season, with the FA Cup representing United’s other chance for silverware.
Since being sacked by Chelsea in December, Mourinho has been linked with a move to Old Trafford in place of Van Gaal and McCarthy thinks his former boss would be an ideal appointment.
“Manchester United have a lot of young players who want to achieve things and make names for themselves,” the former Blackburn Rovers striker told BBC Sport. “He would come in and be the perfect man for the job.
“If the players give him 100 per cent effort and show a willingness to succeed, he could definitely get Manchester United back to being one of those powerhouses in Europe, where teams fear to go.”
He continued: “During my time at Porto, he had full support and I think that is why he was so successful.
“Manchester United is that kind of club. It is a very well-run club and a family club. Because of that, I think he will be able to make those players play to their ability and put the club back where they belong.”
Should Mourinho end up at United next season he would go head-to-head with his old adversary Pep Guardiola, the pair having faced off during their spells at Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.
Guardiola will replace Manuel Pellegrini at Manchester City in 2016-17 with many expecting his coaching success to continue, however McCarthy says Mourinho at United could cause him problems.
“Mourinho is one of those people who knows how to beat Guardiola’s tactics,” he added.
“When he was at Real Madrid, he beat him a couple of times. At Inter Milan, he also had success against him.
“At the moment, I can’t see anyone taking on Pep and his tactics at Manchester City.
“But Mourinho at United, he would have the resources, the players and the financial backing to beat Guardiola.”