Under-pressure Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho took a back seat as he left the club’s training complex yesterday afternoon as he battles to keep his job at Old Trafford.
Mourinho sat behind his chauffeur as he travelled from the AON Training Complex back to his Lowry Hotel base following training.
United have started preparations for Sunday’s must-win Premier League trip to Burnley as they try to arrest their worst start to a season in 26 years. Sportsmail reported on Tuesday that the United players and staff believe Mourinho could be sacked if he loses again at the weekend.
The prospect of United chief Ed Woodward axing Mourinho is being openly discussed in the wake of back-to-back defeats by Brighton and Tottenham. There is the same sense of inevitability that surrounded Louis van Gaal’s final days in 2016 before he was replaced by Mourinho, with players now talking about the possibility of Zinedine Zidane becoming manager.‘They are saying Jose will be gone soon,’ a source told Sportsmail on Tuesday night.
‘Some think he’ll be out if they lose at Burnley. Others can’t see him lasting beyond September.‘We’ve seen this before and it just feels the same. The club will say it’s supporting Jose but we all saw what happened with Louis. The players are already talking about the possibility of Zidane coming in.’
Publicly, United continued to back Mourinho on Tuesday and there is little chance of him walking away from a £15million-a-year contract. Woodward does not want to make a third change in less than four-and-a-half years but will come under enormous pressure if United suffer a third straight defeat on Sunday.
Mourinho continued to show the strain after Monday’s 3-0 loss to Spurs at Old Trafford when he walked out of his post-match press conference after demanding respect for having won three titles with Chelsea.
Mourinho has not lost the dressing room but morale has suffered in recent months and it was noted that only eight players were on the team coach from Carrington to the Lowry Hotel for the Spurs game. Others made their own way to the hotel, with Paul Pogba arriving in a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce.