United sack Mourinho … walks away with £22.5m pay-off

Mourinho

Mourinho

JOSE Mourinho has been sacked by Manchester United after a disastrous first half to the Premier League season.

Mourinho’s two-and-a-half year reign came to an end at 9:46am yesterday morning following the club’s worst start to a top-flight season since 1990. His last game was a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

The club released a statement on their website which read: “Manchester United announces that manager Jose Mourinho has left the club with immediate effect.

The club would like to thank Jose for his work during his time at Manchester United and to wish him success in the future.

A new caretaker manager will be appointed until the end of the current season, while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new, full-time manager.

“The club would like to thank Jose for his work during his time at Manchester United and to wish him success in the future.”

Sportsmail understands that club officials agreed that any progress under Mourinho had stalled this season and that, importantly, a number of the club’s exciting youth prospects were not developing under the former Chelsea manager.

United hope to announce a caretaker manager to see out the rest of the season within 48 hours. Current assistant Michael Carrick is not expected to take the role but sources say the appointment will be a man with strong links to the club.

It is understood that Laurent Blanc, the former Manchester United defender and one-time France and Paris Saint-Germain manager, is a front-runner to take over at Old Trafford as caretaker boss.

The 53-year-old is a good friend of club legend Sir Alex Ferguson, and is available immediately having being out of work for the last two years.

Mourinho had often suggested he had not been backed sufficiently in the transfer market. However, United officials did not share that view.

Mourinho brought in 11 players, understood to have been his choices, at a cost of around £400m and those in charge believe he was given every opportunity to succeed. There was also considerable friction over United’s plans to bring in a director of football or technical director, plans they will continue to push on with.

They will now turn their attention to finding Mourinho’s replacement. An extensive search will be carried out, with officials hoping for a long-term appointment who can ensure the club challenge for a Premier League title they have not won since 2013.

Zinedine Zidane and Mauricio Pochettino are among the leading candidates to replace him, while assistant coach Carrick would be a popular choice to step in as caretaker manager.

United drew Paris Saint-Germain on Monday in the last 16 of the Champions League.

The players were given the day off but have spoken for some time about it being a matter of when, and not if, Mourinho is sacked.

The mood at the club is said to be desperate and he had almost no support left in the dressing-room before his sacking on Tuesday morning.

The heady days of summer see Paul Pogba praise his manager, saying he deserves the moniker of ‘the Special One’ after the Portuguese manager oversees FA Cup and Europa League success in his maiden season.

After a run of poor results include a League Cup defeat to Bristol City, Mourinho laments how Manchester City are capable of spending ‘striker money’ on full-backs.

Although he has already spent £300million players, he says that is not enough. - MailOnline

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