Manchester United have given Jose Mourinho ‘full backing’ to oversee a ‘radical overhaul’ of the squad.
United are second in the Premier League and in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, but defeat to Sevilla at the last-16 stage of the Champions League, as well as the increasing gap to champions Manchester City, has put pressure on Mourinho.
In turn, the manager has continued to point the finger at his squad, as well as a comparative lack of funds he deems is necessary to compete with City’s riches.
“I know how to win,” said the Portuguese after defeat to West Brom handed City the title last weekend. “I believe in myself but I don’t play.”
The season could end in trophyless disappointment, but the Daily Telegraph claim that the United board ‘remain adamant’ that ‘progress’ has been made under Mourinho.
A worthy title challenge must be delivered next season to ‘maintain that support’, but that means United will back whatever decisions Mourinho makes this summer.
With the manager ‘prepared to ditch some of the players he signed who he believes have not dealt with the demands’, that means there is likely to be drastic change in the playing staff at Old Trafford.
Even Paul Pogba is not safe, and it is suggested that he could be ‘forced’ out if his form does not reach a consistent level.
Luke Shaw, Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind are all available for transfer this summer, but Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Anthony Martial and Pogba could all join them.
‘There has been a lingering hope with some of the players who have fallen out with the manager, or fallen out of favour, that they may outlast him at the club,’ writes Jason Burt.
‘But it is becoming increasingly apparent that United will back Mourinho for at least one more summer.’
A warning, Jose: spending money is no guarantee of success. Just ask, well…Man United.