Jose Mourinho will be sacked as Manchester United manager this weekend, regardless of their result against Newcastle on Saturday, according to reports.
United have made a dreadful start to the season, their worst in 29 years, with the Reds in tenth place in the Premier League going into this weekend and knocked out of the League Cup by Derby.
And according to The Mirror, Mourinho will pay the price with his job.
Odds on Mourinho leaving United were slashed on Friday night, with the Portuguese rated a 1/4 chance to be sacked. Zinedine Zidane is the clear favourite to replace him.
Mourinho has alienated players, fans and staff alike this season – he has been at loggerheads for weeks with World Cup winner Paul Pogba – and it seems the United board, led by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, now want to make a change.
The 55-year-old was sullen and downcast during his Friday press conference before the Newcastle game.
Results over the past two weeks have simply been awful. United drew with Wolves at Old Trafford in the league, then made that cup exit to Derby, before another loss at West Ham and drab European Cup goalless draw with Valencia.
Former United defender Gary Neville hit out at the board amid the reports Mourinho was to be sacked.
“If this is true and Jose Mourinho is going to walk out to Old Trafford as almost a dead man walking, those fans will absolutely turn towards that boardroom. It’s an absolute disgrace,” Neville said.
“I have to say Jose Mourinho will get the biggest support in his life inside that ground tomorrow. I’ll be there to give it him. The dressing-room is leading what is happening. The tail is wagging the dog at the football club. Get some control back. Get some leadership. For me, at this moment in time, I am furious.
“Something has to change and it isn’t the manager – it’s above that.
“It comes to a point where this would be the fourth manager in six years. You have to look at not the manager but the people who are bringing them in, the people signing the players and sanctioning the deals.”
United may turn to Michael Carrick to lead them on a temporary basis, with former Real Madrid manager Zidane possibly being lined up to be the next full-time incumbent.
The Reds have struggled to find the right man for the job since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013. David Moyes lasted less than a season, Louis van Gaal just two years, and this is the start of Mourinho’s third term in charge.
In his first season, Mourinho led United to the League Cup and Europa League, but despite being second last term, champions Manchester City finished 19 points ahead.
Now Mourinho, already infamous for a ‘third season syndrome’, may well be on his way out of one of the most high-profile jobs in world football.