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By ESPN Staff

United forced to dismiss Mourinho speculation

Manchester United have rejected speculation that they have opened talks with Jose Mourinho about becoming their next manager.

Mourinho tantalisingly suggested earlier this week that he would return to the Premier League once his contract with Inter Milan expires in 2011.

While the timescale is slightly out, to an extent it does fit with Sir Alex Ferguson's summer declaration that he would only remain at Old Trafford for another two years, meaning he would finish in 2010, after 24 years at the helm.

Mourinho would be an obvious replacement, given both his impressive track record at Chelsea and a personality that would ensure following Ferguson's unrivalled dynasty did not overwhelm him.

And it has not taken long for the first reports to emerge linking Mourinho with the Red Devils.

Amid the claim is that Ferguson feels Mourinho is the only man for the job and that tentative talks have taken place.

However, United have rejected such a notion, insisting they have not looked at what might happen when Ferguson finally decides to step down.

"As we have said many times before, there has been no discussion about who will eventually succeed Sir Alex,'' said a United spokesman.

Ferguson has already become United's most successful manager, winning his second Champions League trophy in May with a penalty shoot-out victory over Chelsea, who had Avram Grant in charge.

It was Mourinho's failure to land Europe's biggest prize that led to his exit from Stamford Bridge, although he did win the competition - and the UEFA Cup - during an impressive spell at Porto, beating United on the way.

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