Manchester should brace itself for some fascinating local derbies if Jose Mourinho joins United, midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger said on Wednesday.
The Germany international declined to comment on reports that the former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager had agreed terms with United to succeed the sacked Louis van Gaal.
However, he said every player would want to work under the Portuguese coach who will go head-to-head with Pep Guardiola who has already agreed to join rivals Manchester City.
The two had their share of run-ins in 2011-12 when Guardiola coached Barcelona and Mourinho was in charge at Real Madrid.
“It looks like there will be an interesting city duel if Mourinho joins United,” Schweinsteiger told reporters at Germany’s training camp in Italy.
“There is already a lot of enthusiasm in Manchester. Each player would like to train under Mourinho. It will be something special (for the city).”
Van Gaal was fired on Monday a year before his contract was due to end and just two days after United beat Crystal Palace to win the FA Cup, their first trophy in three years.
Schweinsteiger heaped praise on the Dutchman, saying he admired Van Gaal, having developed a special relationship with him over the years.
The midfielder played for two seasons under both Van Gaal and later Guardiola at the Bayern Munich club.
“Louis van Gaal and me have had a special relationship,” the Germany captain said. “My transfer to United (in 2015) also had to do with him. I cannot speak badly about someone I have to thank for so much.
“I admire him as coach and personality. Despite a difficult period with injury (and) bad luck we still managed to lift a trophy not won by United in 12 years. It is a fitting end for him.”
That success, however, could not gloss over a season in which United finished fifth in the Premier League, missing out on Champions League qualification, and where dull performances had the fans booing their own team even after victories.