Jose: United’s problems ‘still there’

Jose Mourinho says the problems at Manchester United haven't gone away since he was sacked, insisting the club's troubles are rooted in the 'players, organisation and ambition'.

Mourinho was dismissed in December having shepherded the Red Devils to their worst start to a season in 28 years.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was brought in as interim replacement and the Norwegian oversaw an immediate turnaround in fortune as United went on an extended winning run.

It reached a summit when they turned around a first-leg deficit with a 3-1 Champions League last-16 success that stunned Paris St-Germain in March.

That was enough to get Solskjaer a permanent job, but United's season fizzled out thereafter. They finished tamely in the league and won't have Champions League football next season with their sixth-place finish.

Mourinho, having finished second last year, says the problems still exist at United, but he denies that Paul Pogba was the reason he lost his job.

The French World Cup winner was stripped of the vice-captaincy before an animated disagreement between the pair at the club's training ground, but that is not the reason he failed, says the Portuguese.

Asked if he was a victim of Pogba, Mourinho told French newspaper L'Equipe: "No, no. The problems are there, you can imagine that the problems are the players, the organisation and the ambition.

"I will only say that I cannot say 'yes' when you ask if Paul was the only one responsible."

Man United are 4/6 to finish in the top four next season but Mourinho feels they have plenty problems to overcome as he appeared to defend his record.

"On Manchester United, I only want to say two things. One is that time has spoken. Two, it's the problems are still there," he added.

The Red Devils are 5/2 to win a major trophy in the 2019/20 season.

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Mourinho rules out internationals

Jose Mourinho expects that he will return to management this summer, but he is ruling out taking a step into international football next.

The Portuguese was sacked by Manchester United in December following a poor start to the season by the Red Devils.

He says he already dismissed "three or four" job offers since he departed Old Trafford and is preparing himself for the next move of his career.

Having managed Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid before taking the reins at Man United for two and a half year, the two-time Champions League-winning boss says he knows exactly what type of job he'll be accepting next.

"I would like to be back in the summer in June for a new club and a new pre-season," he told BeIn Sports.

"I know exactly what I don't want. I know what I want, in terms of not the specific club but the nature of the job, the dimension of the job."

Mourinho was linked with a return to Madrid recently before Zinedine Zidane returned for a second stint at the Bernabeu, though he has since stated he didn't hold talks with the Spanish giants about a return.

Mourinho says he misses "nothing at all" but is "not on holiday or bored with nothing to do" before adding: "I am working, preparing myself for the next one."

His former Manchester United side are 20/1 to win the Champions League this season ahead of their quarter-final showdown with Barcelona. Man City meanwhile are 9/4 to give Pep Guardiola more European glory, with Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo 10/3.

One move Mourinho says he won't be making is a step into international football, as he prefers the day-to-day nature of club football.

Asked whether he would be managing at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, he said: "I don't think so. I like daily football, daily work, many competitions. I like matches and I want to stay in football club level."

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Jose: Zidane ‘perfect’ for Real

Jose Mourinho says Zinedine Zidane's return to Real Madrid is 'perfect' for the club and will give the Frenchman a chance to prove himself.

Mourinho meanwhile says he was not in the race to return to the Bernabeu himself, despite intense speculation before Zidane's appointment.

Zidane, who won three Champions League trophies and a Liga title in his two-and-a-half-year spell at the Bernabeu previously, is the right man for the job according to Mourinho.

"It seems perfect to me. With the fantastic things he has done in the last years – it seems perfect," he said.

"For Madrid it is perfect, and for him it is a great opportunity to demonstrate how good he is. And now with a new project, it is fantastic."

Real's hopes of a fourth successive Champions League crown were crushed by Ajax recently, the Eredivisie side running out convincing winners of their last-16 tie.

With Madrid currently third in La Liga and 12 points behind Barcelona, Santiago Solari was dismissed from his post.

He had only taken over at the end of October when former Spain boss Julen Lopetegui was shown the door a matter of months after being appointed by Real Madrid.

Mourinho has denied that he wanted to return to the club.

Asked if he was disappointed, Mourinho replied: "I never said I wanted it or not. I just told you Zidane to Madrid is perfect."

Real Madrid are 1/5 to beat Celta Vigo in the Bernabeu on Saturday. The visitors are 12/1 while the draw can be backed at 6/1.

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Pogba: I’m always smiling now

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba says he has "come out of the shadows" and is loving life at Old Trafford again.

The France international crossed swords with former United boss Jose Mourinho and struggled to recapture his international form in the Premier League in the first half of the 2018/19 campaign.

However, he has thrived since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was named caretaker manager last month.

United made it five Premier League victories in a row by beating Tottenham 1-0 at Wembley on Sunday, with Pogba providing a sublime pass for Marcus Rashford to score the winner.

Pogba said: "Before the coach arrived I was in the shadows, on the bench, and I accepted that. It is a pleasure to play again. That's normal. Now I am always smiling.

"It's a pleasure to be reunited with him [Solskjaer]. I knew him from the academy and the reserves, when his nickname was 'Super Sub'.

"He is doing a really good job. As a player he knew the mentality of this club. He has come back to help us and it is going very well. The season is long so let's see how it goes.

"I am playing a bit further forward. I have more security behind me, it gives me the freedom to go forwards to try to get into the box and support the strikers."

United's improved recent form means they can now be backed at 9/4 to finish in the top four of the Premier League this season while Chelsea are available at 1/3, Arsenal at 11/2 and Tottenham at 2/11.

Ramos cools talk of Jose return

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos says it is disrespectful to suggest former manager Jose Mourinho might be returning to the Bernabeu.

Los Blancos are currently preparing for the Club World Cup final with Al Ain, where Santiago Solari will win a first trophy as coach if they win on Saturday.

It has been a turbulent season in the Spanish capital, with Julen Lopetegui sacked in October, just over four months after being appointed as Zinedine Zidane's successor.

Mourinho is available after being sacked by Manchester United last week and there has been press speculation that he might return to the Spanish giants.

"People need to show more respect to the coach we have now," Ramos said. "Mourinho left us five years ago yet everyone keeps talking about him."

Mourinho previously managed Real Madrid from 2010 to 2013, winning La Liga in 2012. He still has a good relationship with Real president Florentino Perez, prompting the link to a return.

Solari was appointed to the post last month after a spell as caretaker boss and is the 12th manager Ramos has played under.

"I'm not the person who decides which coach comes here or doesn't. Some people seem to think that the captains decide which coach Real Madrid appoints," said Ramos.

Real Madrid are 1/7 to win the FIFA World Club Cup final on Saturday. Al Ain are 16/1 while the draw is 15/2.

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Solskjaer has long-term interest

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has thrown his hat in the ring as a candidate to become the next permanent manager of Manchester United.

The former Red Devils striker has been drafted in on an interim basis following the sacking of Jose Mourinho, but Solskjaer is clear that he would like to impress enough to be considered for a more long-term role.

His first task, however, is to try and oversee a victory at another of his former clubs, with United visiting Cardiff City at teatime on Saturday.

He told reporters at his pre-match press conference: "When you get a job like this and you sign for six months, you say 'I'm happy to help out'. My job now is to do as well as I can and move the club forward as well as I can.

"I understand that there are so many managers that would love to be at this club. I am one of them (but) it is not something that we have talked about."

Meanwhile, the Norwegian has played down talk of setting targets for what he expects over the coming months, with United currently down in sixth place in the Premier League and facing a huge task to secure a top-four finish.

He added: "I want to get the players to understand how I want to play, then let's take the results after that and see how many points we can gather.

"This club has made up many points before, but I will not set a target now. We will go game by game."

The Red Devils are 4/7 to win at Cardiff on Saturday and are 7/1 to do so by a 2-0 scoreline, with United 6/5 to keep a clean sheet against the Bluebirds.

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Klopp hails ‘outstanding’ Mourinho

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has labelled Jose Mourinho an 'outstanding manager' following the latter's sacking by Manchester United.

A 3-1 defeat to the Reds at Anfield on Sunday proved to be the last match in charge of the Red Devils for Mourinho, who was axed after two-and-a-half years at the Old Trafford helm.

However, he leaves with high praise from Klopp, who has urged the Portuguese to focus on all the success he has had in his illustrious career to date.

Klopp told reporters: "He is a very competitive guy, very ambitious. He has all my respect, (he has been) unbelievably successful.

"I can imagine the last few months especially were not a joy for anybody, especially him. It is not nice to face all these questions every day. That is a problem.

"But nobody can take away all the things he has won. Nothing can take that away.

"I hope, personally, he has that in his mind when he leaves and not a few other things that happened in the last few months. He is an outstanding manager."

Mourinho has won eight league titles across four countries during his spells in charge of FC Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid, with his most notable achievement guiding Inter to a domestic double and Champions League glory in the 2009/10 season.

He had previously led Porto to Champions League success in 2004, while he also lifted the UEFA Cup a year earlier, while in his time in charge of United he guided them to Europa League success.

United are 50/1 to win the Champions League this season, with Liverpool 10/1 and Manchester City 3/1.

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Pochettino focuses on cup derby

Tottenham Hotspur head coach Mauricio Pochettino has vowed to maintain his full focus on the job of preparing his side for a League Cup quarter-final with Arsenal.

Pochettino has been heavily linked with interest from Manchester United, who sacked manager Jose Mourinho on Tuesday morning following a poor first half of the Premier League season.

However, the Argentinian says he will not allow himself to be distracted by the swirling rumour mill, with getting his players right to try and beat the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium.

He told reporters: "We know a lot of rumours happen, but it's not my business what happens in another club now.

"I accept everything. I accept the rumours when they're positive (and) when they're negative. I accept opinions when you win and people praise you and when you lose and they're negative against you.

"I'm so focused on delivering my best job, our best job, in this club and now we have ahead a very busy period and tomorrow we play another derby, such an important derby for us.

"It's the quarter-final of the cup. I think all the people understand we're focused on trying to deliver our best job tomorrow."

Arsenal and Spurs met in a Premier League fixture at the Emirates earlier this month, when the hosts came from behind to secure a 4-2 victory, while the last League Cup meeting was won 2-1 by the Gunners in September 2015.

Tottenham are 10/11 to reach the semi-finals of the League Cup and are 9/1 to defeat Arsenal 2-1 in 90 minutes on Wednesday evening, with the Whites 6/1 to go all the way and win the competition.

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Premier League: Manchester United axe Jose Mourinho in unsurprising move

Jose Mourinho’s era at Manchester United has officially ended.

The writing was on the wall when the Red Devils found themselves at eighth place after 10 games in the 2018-19 Premier League season. United have largely struggled this year under Mourinho and failed to string wins consistently.

United lost to Liverpool in Matchday 17, a result which proved to be the last straw for the Red Devils’ top brass.

In the official announcement made by the club, they confirmed that the 55-year-old manager “has left the club with immediate effect.”

“The club would like to thank Jose for his work during his time at Manchester United and to wish him success in the future,” Manchester United said in the release.

The former Real Madrid and Chelsea boss guided United to a second-place finish in the 2017-18 Premier League campaign. He also won the Europa League and EFL Cup last year, raising hopes that he would be able to take the team to the next level in his third year in charge.

Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case at all. United are currently sitting at sixth place with only seven wins to go with five draws and five defeats, their worst start in 28 years. They are 19 points behind leaders Liverpool and are off the pace for a Champions League spot.

The team doesn’t also have a positive goal difference, having conceded as many goals as they have scored (29).

Who’s going to take charge now?

According to Manchester United’s release, “a new caretaker manager will be appointed until the end of the current season.” This statement suggests that the team won’t be rushing in finding his permanent replacement.

Michael Carrick will reportedly take care of the team’s training on Tuesday and, perhaps, moving forward until the club finds an interim boss to handle the managerial duties.

Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino is rumoured to be the possible replacement for Mourinho at Old Trafford, having been previously linked with the club. Early in the season, the Red Devils grabbed the Premier League 2018 news and headline when they reportedly offered £40million to lure the Spurs boss away from the North London club.

What did they say?

Mourinho’s sacking didn’t come as a surprise considering Manchester United’s poor start and bleak future. However, as expected, sports personalities, media and fans all shared their reactions with the development.

Stay tuned at us for more updates on this story.



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United sack Mourinho

Manchester United have sacked manager Jose Mourinho after two-and-a-half years in charge.

The Portuguese took over at Old Trafford in the summer of 2016 and was quickly followed into the club by then-world record signing Paul Pogba.

Mourinho's first season in charge was deemed a success after winning both the EFL Cup and Europa League, while he guided the club to second behind Manchester City last term.

Despite their encouraging results, the 55-year-old's tactics drew great ire and he regularly clashed with the board over signings.

Mourinho also struggled to get the best out of Pogba and openly criticised certain members of his squad.

The 2018-19 campaign has been a poor one to date, with United 19 points adrift of leaders Liverpool following Sunday's 3-1 defeat at Anfield.

That was the team's fifth Premier League defeat of the season and the board have now decided to part company with the coach.

Assistant Michael Carrick will take temporary charge and an external appointment is set to be made before the end of the week.

A statement on the club's website read: "Manchester United announces that manager Jose Mourinho has left the club with immediate effect.

"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."

Tuesday's news marks the third time he has been sacked in December, having also lost his job in the final month of the year at both Benfica and Chelsea.

United's next game is on Saturday away at Cardiff, a game they are 11/20 to win, with the draw 14/5 and the Bluebirds 11/2.

The Red Devils are 14/1 to finish in the top four.

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