He gave a glowing recommendation to help Bruno Ribeiro land the Port Vale manager’s position earlier this year.
And now Wednesday chief Carlos Carvalhal could play an integral part in Ribeiro keeping his job at the League One outfit.
The pressure is growing on Ribeiro to turn around the Valiants results in the wake of Saturday’s 4-0 thrashing at AFC Wimbledon. Defeat leaves Vale languishing in 17th position ahead of the festive programme.
Valiants chairman Norman Smurthwaite has stated Ribeiro will be in charge of their next two matches but expects the Portuguese chief to utilise his contacts in the game to recruit new players when the transfer window reopens next month.
Ribeiro, who represented Sheffield United during his playing days, is thought to be good pals with Carvalhal, Jose Mourinho and Aitor Karanka.
“We have two home games and Ribeiro will be the manager for both those home games,” said Smurthwaite told BBC Radio Stoke. “I am expecting his friends who in part got him the job – Mourinho, the manager at Wednesday and Karanka, in their glowing references in the time I was interviewing for a manager - they now have to step up and actually deliver what it is I am told is going to happen.
“That is some Grade A players to complement and take us forward. If that doesn’t happen, then I will feel I have been a little bit hoodwinked.”
The Owls beat Port Vale 3-0 in their final pre-season friendly last summer following strikes by Fernando Forestieri, Tom Lees and Almen Abdi.