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23rd Dec 2018

Mourinho thought he was being called in to discuss January transfers before sacking

Patrick McCarry

Safe to say, the Portuguese did not see the end coming

Jose Mourinho’s stint as Manchester United boss came to an end after just two and a half years and the club let him go ‘with immediate effect’ on Tuesday morning.

As previously reported, Mourinho arrived at the club’s training complex at Carrington just before 9am. He went along to a meeting with United chief executive Ed Woodward and was informed of the club’s intentions. By 9:46am, a press release had been fired out to let the world know Mourinho was moving on and that a caretaker boss was to be installed.

That caretaker manager had already been arranged. Reports in Norway state that Woodward had spoken with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer just after 8am and had ascertained the former United forward would be interested in taking over United for the remainder of the season.

The Times has now claimed Mourinho went to that Tuesday morning meeting believing he was going to discuss transfer targets for the January window. It is unclear whether Woodward had already decided to axe Mourinho or if he was reaching out to Solskjaer in case the meeting with the 55-year-old turned sour.

Perhaps the mere mention of ‘Alderweireld’ drove the chief exec over the edge.

United got off to a rocking start under Solskjaer at Cardiff’s Liberty Stadium, on Saturday, with a 5-1 win over Neil Warnock’s Cardiff City.

Paul Pogba was restored to the starting line-up and he spoke with the BBC after the match. “We won trophies with Jose and I want to thank him for that,” he began.

“He makes me improve, as a person as well, and that’s it. That’s the past, I want to thank him for that. I’m sure that is the same for all the players and now we are looking forward to the next game.”

Pogba stressed that it was important for United to follow on from that win by putting a run of positive results and performances together.