Jose Mourinho’s position at the helm of Manchester United is not under immediate threat, senior figures at the club have told Press Association Sport.
Weeks of speculation and scrutiny came to a head on Friday evening, when the Daily Mirror reported that the 55-year-old was set to be sacked, irrespective of the outcome of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Newcastle.
“Jose Mourinho has lost the confidence of the Manchester United board and is set to be sacked this weekend,” read the report.
“Senior United sources have told Mirror Football he has reached the point of no return, with the axe ready to fall whatever the outcome of Saturday’s match against Newcastle.”
The BBC and Sky Sports also report that Mourinho is not in imminent danger with the latter claiming “Sky Sports News has been told no such decision has been made by the powers-that-be at Old Trafford”.
The tabloid again pushed their “Mourinho sacking” story on Saturday morning, claiming that the Portuguese boss has “lost the confidence of the board,” but the other major outlets have all refuted the story.
ESPN FC meanwehile claim that Mourinho is demanding a publics how of support from Ed Woodward ahead of today’s clash.
Poor performances have been compounded by off-field problems during an uncomfortable start to the season at Old Trafford, with the relationship between Mourinho and star midfielder Paul Pogba creating unwanted headlines.
Last weekend’s 3-1 loss at West Ham made this United’s worst start to a league campaign in 29 years but senior sources at the club have strongly denied to Press Association Sport that the Portuguese will be fired this weekend.
Mourinho looks set to get the international break to turn things around after attempting to avoid a fifth successive match without a win when Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle visit Old Trafford.
Saturday’s fixture was already the subject of intense scrutiny, but the Mirror’s report has ramped that pressure up several more notches.
While it is understood that patience is wearing thin among the United hierarchy, the immediacy of Friday’s report sent ripples around the football world.