Jose Mourinho will not wait for Manchester United if they decide to postpone bringing him in to replace manager Louis van Gaal beyond this summer.
Despite a difficult season clouded by speculation, Old Trafford staff believe Van Gaal will now stay on for the final year of his contract.
That would mean Mourinho having to hold off taking the United hot seat until 2017-18, a wait he is not prepared to put up with.
Van Gaal could still depart if United lose the FA Cup final against Crystal Palace and fail to finish in the Barclays Premier League top four, but staff at the club expect him to stick around.
Another issue for Ed Woodward and the United board to consider is the future of assistant manager Ryan Giggs.
The former Welsh winger would consider leaving if he is overlooked as Van Gaal's successor and United are wary of losing a long-standing link to past successes.
Mourinho had long been expected to take over this summer after six months off following his sacking from Chelsea.
In February, Inter Milan director Bedy Moratti, sister of the Italian club's former president Massimo Moratti, divulged that Mourinho was headed for United after having lunch with the former Inter boss and her family in the city.
Asked afterwards if the 53-year-old Portuguese coach will return to Inter, she replied: 'No, he's happy now, he's going to Manchester.
Of course, he's always fantastic and we missed him as a person here.'
As recently as last month, Mourinho confirmed that he would be back in management this summer but refused to confirm a destination despite saying he hoped to stay in England.
'I am not in position to turn down [jobs],' Mourinho said. 'I am in a position to analyse, this is April, everything starts in July, every decision is made between May and the start of June.
'I am not in a position to deny, I am open to any club, national team, but I have to be honest, if possible, a club.
'I would prefer [to stay England]. I love the country, the football here, my family is very stable and happy.'