Jose Mourinho SACKED by Man Utd as Ed Woodward wields axe after late night phone call

Mourinho has paid the price for overseeing a woeful season at Old Trafford that has left United languishing in sixth place in the Premier League table.

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United’s 3-1 drubbing at bitter rivals Liverpool proved the final straw for executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

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Express Sport understands Woodward held long talks with co-owner Joel Glazer, who is based in Florida, last night. It was then that he decided to pull the plug on Mourinho’s controversial reign at Old Trafford.

In a terse statement, United said: “Manchester United has announced that Jose Mourinho has left the club.

Man Utd have confirmed Jose Mourinho has left the club

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

Mourinho was paid £15m-a-season and has ploughed his way through more than £300m on big name signings in the last 24 months, but been unable to mastermind a significant title challenge.

Woodward gave him the funds to sign the likes of Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku, but the duo have made little impact – with United getting worse instead of better.

It is understood Mourinho’s treatment of Pogba, who cost United £90m when he rejoined them from Juventus in 2016, was one of the main reasons Woodward has decided to act.

Pogba has found himself axed from the team in recent weeks and was an unused substitute for last weekend’s defeat at Anfield.

Jose Mourinho has left Man Utd

Jose Mourinho has left Man Utd (Image: GETTY)

Jose Mourinho SACKED: Michael Carrick will take over

Jose Mourinho SACKED: Michael Carrick will take over (Image: GETTY)

United directors have been baffled as to how a World Cup winner has been deemed not good enough to get into the starting XI.

Mourinho also angered Woodward when he criticised the club’s decision not to sign some of his defensive targets in the summer.

Their relationship has been on a downward spiral ever since, with Mourinho appearing to act in a manner that suggested he wanted the club to sack him.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is understood be top of United’s wish list to replace him, but it remains to be seen if the Argentine can be prised away from the London club.

United legend Neville gave a passionate response to Mourinho’s sacking – calling for major change from top to bottom at Old Trafford.

Jose Mourinho SACKED

Jose Mourinho SACKED (Image: GETTY)

Jose Mourinho sacked

Jose Mourinho sacked (Image: GETTY)

And while speaking on Sky Sports, Neville appeared to hint that Mourinho would be replaced by a manager that United ‘will have to pay for, if it’s the one we think it’s going to be’.

It appears the man is Pochettino.

“This is a moment for the club to take stock of what they are doing and reset the structure in terms of recruitment and the decision-making at the football club and make sure what they do next is the right move,” Neville said.

“It’s not about speed, it’s not about rushing and getting the first manager that’s available, it’s about making sure the next manager is the right manager. They will have to pay for him if it’s the one we think it’s going to be.

“They have to make sure they put the right structure in around him. They see it as a positive that they have 65 scouts, I see it as confusion. Especially if you don’t have a definitive person with a level of control.

“They’ve got to put more intelligent people in there who understand the football side of things.”

Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho (Image: GETTY)

Jose Mourinho SACKED: Paul Pogba had numerous bust-ups with Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho SACKED: Paul Pogba had numerous bust-ups with Jose Mourinho (Image: GETTY)

United were in for Leicester’s Harry Maguire, Tottenham star Toby Alderweireld and Diego Godin of Atletico Madrid over the summer.

However, Ed Woodward refused to back his manager and  United ended up signing Fred, Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant instead.

“The moment earlier on in the season where it was clear the board had decided not to back a couple of Jose Mourinho signings, to be honest at that point you’re finished as a manager,” Neville added on Sky Sports.

“I think that, from a club point of view, they gave him a new contract last January.

“In the summer, Jose wanted to sign one or two centre-backs and those were identified and the club have the ability and the right to say ‘no’ to those signings if they don’t feel it’s right but  you have to understand the consequences.

“Once you undermime a manager, or don’t agree with his signings, and you’re going against them, maybe for the right reasons from a club point of view, but if you’re a manager particularly of the stature of Jose Mourinho, you’re on a collision course.

“What we’ve seen in the last three or four months is it play out in public.

“I said on Sunday after the game against Liverpool that United had been crawling along on their hands and knees, minute after minute, hour after hour, match to match for the last few weeks and months.

“It’s been unpleasant and unsavoury and you could see on the pitch it’s been impacting the players, who to be honest at this moment in time, look demorallised. Some games they look disinterested, some games they look inspired for 20 minute periods but so inconsistent.

“The sacking of Jose Mourinho is a result of what happened last summer. When Jose came back for the first day of the pre-season tour and started making complaints in the media, he knew it was going to rumble on.

“There had to be some control grabbed at that time. It played out all the way through the transfer window and a consequence of going against your manager never ends well.”

Michael Carrick is in charge for two days but United are planning to appoint a caretaker until the end of the season.

United want a man steeped in the tradition of the club and it’s understood Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could be their man.

Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho could be replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Image: GETTY)

Lauren Blanc is currently the bookmakers favourite but Express Sport understand Solskjaer is a candidate for the role until the end of the season.

The 45-year-old played for United between 1996-2007 and is now managing Molde in Norway.

He was Manchester United reserve boss in 2008-2011 before joining Molde.

Solskjaer had a spell in the Premier League as Cardiff boss but took them down to the Championship and was sacked in September of his second season.

Sky Sports reporter James Cooper delivered an update on the situation this morning.

“I’ve spoken to several senior sources connected at Manchester United and the one thing they’ve emphasised to me is that the next person coming in, his job is to bring back and restore the positive attitude,” Cooper told Sky Sports News.

“They are not saying it’s not positive but the implication is that things have turned from bad to worse behind the scenes.

“The next person, who they have targeted, who they have sorted out, who they have spoken to, I believe the deal is being done and we’ll know in the next 48 hours.

“No-one is telling me if it’s British or European at the moment but they are telling me that we will enjoy working with on a journalistic basis and he’s someone who understand the values of Manchester United.”

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