English Premier League side Manchester United have sacked their manager Jose Mourinho after the English side registered a poor start in the league. United’s 3-1 loss to Liverpool seemed to be the last straw for Mourinho.
Mourinho took charge of United in May 2016 and led the team to League Cup and Europa League titles, but they are currently ranked 19 points behind league leaders Liverpool.
It is understood that players and staff were not happy after a disappointing and unsettling period during which young players were not developed.
The decision to sack Mourinho, which will cost more than £18million, has been taken in the long-term interests of United with a view that the club is bigger than any one individual.
Manchester United hope to announce their caretaker manager on Tuesday after sacking Mourinho. Former United player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems to be the current favourite for the job. Solskjaer is understood to be in discussions with the club regarding the temporary position, with United’s intention being that a permanent manager could take over next summer.
Mourinho is said to have been taken by surprise at his dismissal, and the Portuguese had been expecting to continue for the game at Cardiff on Saturday.
What led to the sacking?
The Manchester Evening News understands that United were concerned that Mourinho’s ego was impacting the harmony at the club, where he stripped Paul Pogba of the second captain’s role in September. A recent team meeting was also cited by a player as the tipping point in the squad’s relationship with Mourinho.
A source said that the United’s owners were also unhappy with the development phase of young players under Mourinho.
The Portuguese’s temper was also said to be a factor that was not well received. Mourinho’s mood is said to have worsened at United. His frustrations with Ed Woodward, United’s owner, go back to the waiting game that played out as Louis van Gaal somehow clung to his job in the 2015-16 campaign.
Laurent Blanc could be Mourinho’s replacement as United’s manager. Other names in the fray include Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and Michael Carrick.
Pochettino quickly emerged as one of the front runners to replace Mourinho on a permanent basis in the summer. Zidane seems to be the current favourite for the job, but Pochettino is a fan favourite and is one of the hot favourites for the job at Old Trafford.
Pochettino has however insisted that he is focused on his job at Tottenham and the current situation at Manchester United is ‘not his business.’
Speaking to the media ahead of their League Cup game against Arsenal, the Spurs boss was asked about the recent developments at Old Trafford and the speculation around him.
“First of all I went to send my best wishes to him, I am so sorry. Because I have a good relationship with him he is a good friend and it’s sad news,” Pochettino said, as per a reportin the Manchester Evening News.
Former United captain Gary Neville believes Pochettino could be the perfect man for the job. However, Zidane and Solskjaer are ahead of Pochettino in the running as per the odds.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius
Stay updated with all the insights.
Navigate news, 1 email day.
Subscribe to Qrius