Mourinho Sacked

Manchester United have sacked manager Jose Mourinho after identifying a catalogue of his failings at the club.

The Portuguese, 55, took over in May 2016 and led United to League Cup and Europa League titles, but they are 19 points behind league leaders Liverpool.

The club have made a change after no progress with results or style despite spending nearly £400m on 11 players.

They also say the new manager will understand the philosophy of the club, including their attacking traditions.

It is understood players and staff are not happy after a disappointing and unsettling period during which young players were not developed.

United are sixth in the Premier League, but closer to the relegation zone than leaders Liverpool, who beat them 3-1 on Sunday.

The decision to sack Mourinho, which will cost more than £18m, has been taken in the long-term interests of United with a regard that the club is bigger than any one individual.

Mourinho is understood to have wanted his own structure, but the new manager will be appointed with a head of football above him reporting to executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

Solskjaer is understood to be in discussions with the club regarding the temporary position, with United’s intention being that a permanent manager take over next summer.

The former United striker is in charge of Molde but because Norway’s domestic season finished in November he may be free to retain that role and take the post at United, though what would occur when Molde start their new campaign in March is unclear. Solskjaer had an unsuccessful Premier League stint with Cardiff in 2014.

Mourinho’s sacking, conducted face-to-face at Carrington on Tuesday morning by Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, followed Sunday’s defeat at Liverpool and ended a tenure that began in May 2016. United finally lost patience with a manager who was not adhering to the club’s core attacking values and who had overseen their worst start to a campaign for 28 years.