Jose Mourinho’s tenure as Manchester United manager is over.
The Premier League club announced Tuesday in a statement it has fired Mourinho amid a dismal third season in charge. Manchester United will appoint a caretaker manager while it looks for Mourinho’s permanent successor.
The Red Devils currently are languishing in sixth place in the Premier League standings, 19 points behind first-place Liverpool. Mourinho has been under threat since last summer after he began griping publicly about Manchester United’s transfer policy. His strained relationship with key players like star midfielder Paul Pogba and club captain Antonio Valencia caused him to lose support of other key players, and the fractures within the dressing room were apparent in the team’s results and performances.
Mourinho replaced Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford in 2016. He led the club to a sixth-place finish in his first season at the club but also won the EFL Cup and UEFA Europa League that year.
Manchester United finished second in the Premier League, reached the round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League and was runner-up in the FA Cup in 2017-18, but his relationship with senior players and the club’s board of directors began to sour during the campaign.
The bad blood spilled into this season, and Manchester United’s slow start prompted widespread speculation Mourinho would lose his job before the end of this term. The rumors ultimately came to pass, and Mourinho leaves with trophies and blemishes added to his resume.
Legendary player and manager Zinedine Zidane reportedly had been Manchester United’s top choice to replace Mourinho, but rumors claimed in October he’s reluctant to take the job during the season. Other candidates to replace Mourinho include Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino, Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone and former Man United player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to The Times.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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