Jose Mourinho sacked as Manchester United manager

Updated: 24/02/2024

Jose Mourinho‘s troubled tenure as Manchester United manager has come to an end.

The club announced on Tuesday morning the 55-year-old has left his post with immediate effect with a “thorough recruitment process” now taking place to find his successor.

Michael Carrick, who has been a coach at the club since he retired from playing in May, will take training and United are set to appoint a caretaker manager this week to lead them until the end of the season when a permanent replacement is expected to be installed.

Man Utd statement

“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 final straw

Manchester United were trounced by Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday (Getty Images)

United are sixth in the league table, 19 points adrift of bitter rivals Liverpool, having suffered their worst start to a Premier League season.

The 3-1 defeat at Anfield on Sunday proved to be the final straw.

A man with a reputation for having difficult third seasons throughout his career could not change that pattern at Old Trafford, with recent months being marked by high-profile clashes with star players Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial, and apparent discontent over the club's failure to sign a defender in the summer.

The Portuguese joined United in May 2016 and guided them to success in the Community Shield, League Cup and Europa League in his first season.

But he was unable to deliver success in the Premier League, with United finishing sixth in 2017, and second – but 19 points adrift of runaway champions Manchester City – in 2018.

In January this year United handed Mourinho a contract extension until 2020, but they have now finally decided to part with the former Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid boss.


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Mourinho at Man Utd: Timeline

Jose Mourinho was appointed Manchester United manager in May 2016 (Getty Images)

May 27, 2016 – Appointed as Manchester United manager, replacing Louis van Gaal.
August 7, 2016 – Wins first silverware at United with a 2-1 victory over Premier League champions Leicester in the Community Shield at Wembley, new signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores the winner.
September 11, 2016 – Defeat to old foe Pep Guardiola in the pair's first derby clash in England as Manchester City win 2-1 at Old Trafford.
October 23, 2016 – A 4-0 thrashing at the hands of former club Chelsea on his return to Stamford Bridge.
October 29, 2016 – Sent to the stands at half-time for protesting a decision against his side in a 0-0 home draw against Burnley.
February 26, 2017 – Ibrahimovic scores twice as the Red Devils beat Southampton 3-2 to lift the EFL Cup – Mourinho becomes the first United manager to win silverware in his debut season at the club.
May 21, 2017 – Ends Premier League season with home win against Crystal Palace as United finish sixth, 24 points behind champions Chelsea.
May 24, 2017 – Guides United to the Europa League with a 2-0 victory over Ajax in Stockholm.
August 8, 2017 – 2-1 defeat to former club Real Madrid in the Super Cup, new signing Romelu Lukaku scores the consolation.
October 21, 2017 – A 13-match unbeaten run across all competitions to start the season ends with a 2-1 loss at newly-promoted Huddersfield.
December 20, 2017 – A 2-1 quarter-final defeat at Sky Bet Championship side Bristol City ends United's hopes of retaining the Carabao Cup.
January 26, 2018 – Signs a new contract to remain as United boss until 2020, with the option of a further year.
March 13, 2018Sevilla knock United out of the Champions League at the round of 16 stage, winning 2-1 at Old Trafford after a goalless first leg in Spain.
April 7, 2018 – Paul Pogba scores twice and Chris Smalling gets the winner as United come from two goals behind to win 3-2 at Manchester City and prevent Guardiola's side securing the Premier League title in the derby.
May 12, 2018 – Rui Faria announces he will quit as Mourinho's assistant at the end of the season, the pair having worked together at various clubs since 2002.
May 19, 2018 – FA Cup final defeat against Chelsea as Eden Hazard's penalty secures a 1-0 win for the Blues.
August 27, 2018 – Defeat at Brighton in the second game of the season is followed up by a 3-0 loss at home to Tottenham – the worst home defeat of Mourinho's career.
September 29, 2018 – A five-match unbeaten run in all competitions was abruptly ended with a 3-1 defeat to West Ham at the London Stadium.
November 11, 2018 – Three straight wins, including an incredible 2-1 comeback victory at Juventus, looked to put Mourinho's side back in form but they fell to a 3-1 derby defeat at Manchester City to pile the pressure back on the Portugese manager.
December 16, 2018 – A last-gasp 1-0 win at home to Young Boys saw United qualify for the Champions League knockout stages gave Mourinho a stay of execution, but a final matchday loss at Valencia was followed by a heavy 3-1 reverse to Liverpool at Anfield cranked up the pressure.
December 18, 2018 – Just two days after their first defeat in nine league matches against their north-west rivals, Manchester United announced the Portuguese was sacked by the club on Tuesday morning.

Where next for Man Utd?

Could Mauricio Pochettino be on his way to Manchester United? (Getty Images)

By Sam Cunningham, i football correspondent

United want Mauricio Pochettino to take charge next summer, when he could be reunited with Paul Mitchell as director of football.

i has been told that executive vice chairman Ed Woodward has met with Mitchell, who developed a strong relationship with Pochettino at Southampton and then joined him at Tottenham Hotspur, each time in lead recruitment roles, before leaving for RB Leipzig, where he is in charge of developing youth players and recruitment. Mitchell is credited for bringing Dele Alli, Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld to Spurs.

Michael Carrick took charge of training on Tuesday and United will employ an interim manager until the end of the season, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reportedly set to be appointed, but want Spurs manager Pochettino to replace Mourinho in the longterm.

Pochettino naturally did not rule out a move at the end of the season in a press conference on Tuesday. “It’s not my business what happened today and only I want to send my best wishes to Jose,” he said. “It's not my business what happens in another club now. I am so focused on training and delivering our best result in this football club.”

Pochettino faces the difficult decision whether to build on his significant development of the club into regular Champions League and Premier League contenders and lead Tottenham into their new stadium, or move to United at the end of the season knowing he could achieve what he would like at Spurs in a much shorter timeframe.

The Argentinian only signed a new five-year contract last year, but while the prospect of leading Tottenham into the new stadium is enticing, the lack of spending in the summer by club chairman Daniel Levy has been frustrating. Pochettino has, nonetheless, kept Spurs in the title race and qualified through a difficult Champions League group, which included Barcelona, Inter Milan and PSV Eindhoven.

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Read more:

Manchester United target Pochettino and Mitchell

Pochettino: A man who could get Man Utd fans believing again

5 contenders for Man Utd manager

More on Manchester United:

Man Utd's 11 signings under Mourinho – ranked from worst to best

5 contenders to replace Mourinho at Man Utd

Mourinho: The Myspace football manager

Man Utd plot raid of Spurs and Leipzig to reunite Poch with Mitchell

Do Man Utd need a director of football?

Mourinho was a distraction from Glazers' shortcomings

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