Jose Mourinho axed by Manchester United – and he’ll get £22.5m pay-out

Jose Mourinho has left the Lowry hotel for the last time after being sacked by Manchester United after a disastrous first half to the Premier League season.

The Portuguese manager was given the axe on Tuesday morning and later that afternoon was seen driving away from the Lowry – his place of residence throughout his time in charge of the English giants.

When asked how he was doing, Mourinho replied: ‘OK, my friend,’ as he allowed photographs to be taken of him before he was driven away in a Jaguar F-PACE.

At around 2.30pm Jose Mourinho was pictured leaving the Lowry Hotel as he begins life out of work after being sacked by Manchester United on Tuesday

The Portuguese manager shakes the hand of a passer-by as he departs the Manchester hotel

Mourinho was in the back of this Jaguar F-PACE being driven away from his old temporary base

Earlier, Mourinho was pictured arriving at the training ground at 9am on Tuesday – before being called to a face-to-face meeting with executive vice chairman Ed Woodward where he was told he was fired.

The news was then officially confirmed at 9.46am, before a smiling and freshly-shaven Mourinho – who is set to receive a reported £22.5million payout – left Carrington three-and-a-half hours after arriving.

In the back of the car, Mourinho chatted to a man believed to be his close friend and advisor Ricardo Formosinho as they left with a driver at 12.30pm.

Later that afternoon at around 2.30pm, Mourinho was seen leaving the Lowry hotel as he drove away.

Mourinho smiles as he leaves the Manchester United training ground after being sacked

Mourinho had shaved during his three hours at Carrington, leaving at around 12:30pm

Mourinho was seen speaking to a man believed to be friend Ricardo Formosinho in the car

How United announced the news: The club released a short 65-word statement at 9:46am


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.

The club released a statement on their website which 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.’ 

Sportsmail understands that Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is the man Manchester United want to see them through the rest of the season.

The Norwegian, a club legend, is currently in his homeland with Molde. However, United are confident of bringing the former Cardiff City manager back to Old Trafford and sources say there is an ‘outside chance’ a statement may be made before the end of Tuesday. 

Mourinho’s two-and-a-half year reign came to an end following the club’s worst start to a top-flight season since 1990. His last game was a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday. 

Sportsmail understands that club officials agreed that any progress under Mourinho had stalled this season and that, importantly, a number of the club’s exciting youth prospects were not developing under the former Chelsea manager.

The decision to sack the 55-year-old was made on Monday night, with the club well aware that players were stalling on new contracts because of him.

Jose Mourinho arrives at Carrington on Tuesday morning before being sacked by the club

Mourinho was chauffeured into the training ground, but did not take the session like usual

Mourinho had a smirk on his face as he arrived at the training ground to hear the news

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba was quick to take to Instagram in the aftermath of Mourinho’s sacking, posting a cheeky, now-deleted picture alongside the words: ‘Caption this’

United legend Gary Neville immediately hit back at Pogba, telling him to ‘do one’ in response

Competition P W D L GF GA Win %
Premier League 93 50 26 17 151 86 53.80%
Europa League 15 10 3 2 25 8 66.70%
Champions League 14 8 2 4 20 9 57.10%
FA Cup 10 8 0 2 22 4 80.00%
League Cup 10 7 1 2 23 11 70.00%
Community Shield 1 1 0 0 2 1 100.00%
UEFA Super Cup 1 0 0 1 1 2 0.00%
Total 144 84 32 28 244 121 58.30%

It is understood that Mourinho’s refusal to use Paul Pogba at Anfield was crucial to the decision to sack him, with the club unable to sit back and watch millions wiped off players’ values while they rotted on the bench. 

Mourinho had also lost the dressing room, having fallen out with a number of the club’s top stars.

The players reacted to a recent tabloid story about 90 per cent of the players wanting the manager out by joking with each other: ‘Who are the 10 per cent that want him to stay?’

Few tears will be shed from the non-playing staff either. The manager took a back seat when it came to non-football issues and sources say he refused to fine players when they failed to show for commercial appearances. ‘He had no interest,’ said a club insider. ‘He didn’t care less if the players fulfilled their obligations or not.’ 

A reluctance to get involved when, as revealed by Sportsmail in October, a number of first-team players refused to attend a commercial appearance in protest over transport issues that had ruined preparations for midweek home matches, also won the Portuguese few friends.

Luke Shaw did not appear too distraught as he arrived for training on Tuesday morning

Midfielder Fred, who had been sidelined by Mourinho, waves as he arrives at Carrington

Nemanja Matic was another of the stars driving into the training ground after Mourinho’s exit

Mourinho poses with his daughter Matilde (left) and wife Matilde (right) at 2014 fashion show

The final straw for United was the 3-1 defeat at the hands of bitter rivals Liverpool on Sunday

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Meanwhile, United hope to announce a caretaker manager to see out the rest of the season within 48 hours. 

Current assistant Michael Carrick is not expected to take the role but sources say the appointment will be a man with strong links to the club. 

Laurent Blanc, the former Manchester United defender and one-time France and Paris Saint-Germain manager, is also in the running with bookies to take over at Old Trafford as caretaker boss.

The 53-year-old is a good friend of club legend Sir Alex Ferguson, and is available immediately having been out of work for the last two years. 

Mourinho had often suggested he had not been backed sufficiently in the transfer market. However, United officials did not share that view. 

Mourinho brought in 11 players, understood to have been his choices, at a cost of around £400m and those in charge believe he was given every opportunity to succeed. There was also considerable friction over United’s plans to bring in a director of football or technical director, plans they will continue to push on with.

He also had plenty of issues with Paul Pogba, and the midfielder was quick to take to Instagram in the aftermath of the news on Tuesday morning.

The Frenchman posted a cheeky picture – which has now been deleted – in which he is glancing at the camera, alongside the words: ‘Caption this.’

Old Trafford legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the front-runner to become caretaker manager

Former United defender Laurent Blanc is a leading candidate to take over too

Michael Carrick would be a popular choice with players, but is not expected to take the role

Mourinho has been under-fire in recent weeks and left his role at the club on Tuesday morning

Gary Neville hit back at Pogba just minutes later, telling him to ‘do one’ in response to the Instagram message. 

Manchester United will now turn their attention to finding Mourinho’s replacement. An extensive search will be carried out, with officials hoping for a long-term appointment who can ensure the club challenge for a Premier League title they have not won since 2013.  

Carrick will be among the candidates to take over on an interim basis even though the former England midfielder only joined the coaching staff this season. Carrick was at Leigh to see United’s Under-18s beat Chelsea on Monday night when the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was also in the stands.

Zinedine Zidane is available after leading Real Madrid to three Champions League triumphs, although Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is believed to be United’s long-term target. 

Former Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim completes the three main candidates, although the club are still open to other offers at this time.

Pochettino is Ferguson’s No 1 choice to take over, but it is understood United chiefs are not confident of their ability to steal him away from Tottenham.

Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is another leading contender to take the helm

United will have to pay Mourinho in the region of £22.5m after cutting short his contract

Zidane, meanwhile, has already spoken to the club and they have canvassed his ideas on new players and what he would do if he took over at Old Trafford.  

United will have to pay Mourinho in the region of £22.5m to cut short a contract that was due to run until 2020. The 55-year-old was understood to be on a basic salary of £18million and his contract guaranteed a 25 per cent bonus if the club were still in Champions League contention when he was sacked.

United drew Paris Saint-Germain on Monday in the last 16 of Europe’s premier competition.

The players were given the day off but have spoken for some time about it being a matter of when, and not if, Mourinho is sacked.

The mood at the club is said to be desperate and he had almost no support left in the dressing-room before his sacking on Tuesday morning.   

It was the club’s form in the Premier League that proved his undoing. United are 19 points behind leaders Liverpool and 11 points off the top-four with a goal difference of zero.

The Portuguese won three trophies at Old Trafford, including the Europa League (pictured)

Manchester United players stand dejected after watching Liverpool score their third goal

Ed Woodwardm pictured in 2016, told Mourinho face-to-face at Carrington on Tuesday

The games against Liverpool and Manchester City, in particular, this season have exposed the paucity of Mourinho’s football compared to his main rivals Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp.

While Woodward waited until David Moyes and Louis van Gaal could no longer mathematically finish in the top-four to wield the axe, the United chief has decided to sack Mourinho while there is still enough time to retrieve the situation. He becomes the third manager to be fired since Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.

Woodward and Mourinho got on well, with the former desperate for the appointment to work out. Mourinho was also aware that football isn’t Woodward’s game and felt he needed a football head taking care of that side of the club. 

Mourinho started off well at United, winning the Europa League, League Cup and Community Shield in his first season. But he finished last season empty-handed after losing the FA Cup final to Chelsea and finishing distant runners-up to City in the league, and the current campaign has been beset by problems.

Mourinho’s fall-out with Pogba has had a toxic effect on the club with United’s record signing failing to get off the bench for the last two games. He has fallen out with a number of other players too. 

His fall-out with Pogba – they are pictured during a training ground argument – has been toxic

Sir Alex Ferguson (left) watched the worrying 3-1 defeat against Liverpool from the stands

Mourinho shakes hands with Woodward after signing a contract extension back in January

Following Mourinho’s exit, he will now move out of his Lowry Hotel base after staying there for 895 days during his time at the club. 

His family base remained in the capital as his daughter — Matilde — graduated from London‘s University of Arts in the summer and his son — Jose Mourinho Jnr — played for Fulham until April 2017. 

He had a long-term contract but still decided to remain in a hotel rather than purchase a Cheshire mansion, like many involved with United.

Buying or renting a house never appeared to Mourinho, as he didn’t see the logic in living in a huge mansion on his own. He isn’t a man for household chores, and cooking and cleaning were all taken care of for him at the Lowry.

The Portuguese had good friend Formosinho close by in an apartment, and they would spend most evenings together. He would also have a number of friends over to watch big Champions League and Premier League matches in his suite. 

Mourinho was often pictured on the steps of the Lowry Hotel where he was welcomed by a doorman every time he arrived at the five-star accommodation. 

Mourinho leaves the Lowry on Thursday last week, the day after losing against Valencia

He will now move out of the plush hotel after staying there for a huge 895 days while at United 

An exterior view of the Lowry Hotel shows its location overlooking the River Irwell in the city

The former Manchester United boss lived in one of the hotel’s luxury Riverside Suites.

A Riverside Suite is priced at £600 on their website which means Mourinho has shelled out around £537,000 since moving to Manchester if he has been paying the average online price.

In the aftermath of his sacking on Tuesday, fans and celebrities alike were quick to react to the news on social media.

Manchester City fan Liam Gallagher was among them, writing that he was ‘gutted’ Mourinho’s time at Old Trafford had come to an end.

One United fan noted that it was the ‘best Christmas gift’ the club’s fans could get, while another joked that Tottenham fans would be guarding their manager Pochettino closely over the next few days.

Manchester City fan Liam Gallagher jokingly wrote that he was ‘GUTTED’ by the news

@lh_019 wrote: ‘This is the best Christmas gift a United fan could get’

How it all unravelled for Jose Mourinho at Manchester United – a timeline of the Special One’s downfall 

Summer 2017 – Happier times

The heady days of summer see Paul Pogba praise his manager, saying he deserves the moniker of ‘the Special One’ after the Portuguese manager oversees FA Cup and Europa League success in his maiden season.

But things soon unravel after Pogba heads to Miami for treatment for a hamstring injury in September…

Mourinho was on a high after his first season Europa League and FA Cup successes

Paul Pogba said Mourinho deserved his ‘Special One’ moniker after winning the Europa League

26 December 2017 – Hints at unrest

After a run of poor results include a League Cup defeat to Bristol City, Mourinho laments how Manchester City are capable of spending ‘striker money’ on full-backs. 

Although he has already spent £300million players, he says that is not enough.

January 2018 – Mourinho signs a new contract

Jose Mourinho signs a new contract with Manchester United on 26 January. The emboldened Portuguese coach begins to take a tougher line with his squad. 

The club suffer defeat against Tottenham at Wembley, with Paul Pogba substituted just after an hour.

Mourinho signed a new contract until 2020 in January shortly before a downturn in form

February 2018 – Pogba falls out of favour

After the Spurs loss Pogba is then dropped for United’s trip to Huddersfield and then hauled off again after 60 minutes as United go down to lowly Newcastle.

The former Juventus midfielder was again on the bench for Manchester United’s dire first leg 0-0 draw with Sevilla in the Champions League, with youngster Scott McTominay taking his place.

Pogba had withdrawn from United’s FA Cup match against Huddersfield due to illness four days prior, which did not go down well with Mourinho. 

Although Pogba was later brought on after 17 minutes in Seville after Ander Herrera was subbed off injured, his omission leads to speculation that the France international’s relationship with Mourinho has deteriorated.

Pogba fell out of favour and was dropped for the Champions League last-16 tie at Sevilla

The Frenchman had to come on after 17 minutes when Ander Herrera went off injured

24 March 2018 – Relationship with Pogba under strain

The Sun report Mourinho is barely on speaking terms with Pogba and he is instead only communicating with the player through his assistant, Rui Faria.

May 2018 – Mourinho hits out at Romelu Lukaku’s back-up options

United suffer defeat at Brighton on 5 May, completing a hat-trick of defeats against the newly promoted sides. Mourinho criticises Marcus Rashford and his back-up options in attack.  

‘Now you have your answer to ‘Why always Lukaku?’ Mourinho said after the game. ‘We are not as good individually as people think we are. 

Brighton beat United on 5 May, completing a hat-trick of defeats against newly promoted sides

Mourinho criticised his back-up strikers including Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial

‘The players who replaced others didn’t perform at a good level and when individuals don’t perform at a good level it’s difficult for the team to play at a good level. 

‘And now maybe you understand why some players play more than others and you won’t ask me all the time why A, B and C don’t play more.’ 

23 July 2018 – Pogba ‘free from distractions’ at the World Cup, says Mourinho

Paul Pogba inspires France to World Cup glory in Russia. Speaking to ESPN, Mourinho says the World Cup is the ‘perfect habitat’ for the Frenchman. 

He said: ‘Why? Because it’s closed for a month, where he can only think about football, where he’s with his team on the training camp, completely isolated from the external world, where they focus just on football, where the dimensions of the game can only motivate.’

Pogba inspires France to World Cup glory in Russia, but Mourinho still aims a subtle dig

The Portuguese coach said the World Cup suited Pogba as he was away from any distractions

29 July 2018 – Mourinho criticises Antonio Valencia, Anthony Martial and a lack of transfer activity

A summer of discontent lies ahead as Mourinho becomes frustrated at United’s lack of transfer activity. 

He reveals he had a list of five potential targets after the Red Devils lose 4-1 to Liverpool in their International Champions Cup match in Michigan. 

He said: ‘I would like to have two more players. I think I am not going to have two. I think it’s possible I am going to have one. It’s possible.’ 

United’s summer begins to turn sour as Mourinho laments the lack of transfer activity

Mourinho missed several key players for pre-season because of the World Cup

Antonio Valencia and Anthony Martial are both criticised by Mourinho after the Liverpool defeat. Valencia is accused of being in a poor condition and having ‘too much’ holiday, while Martial, who left United’s pre-season training camp for the birth of his second child, also came under fire. 

He said: ‘He [Martial] has the baby and after the baby is born – beautiful baby, full of health, thank God – he should be here and he is not here.’

1 August 2018 – Martial hits back at Mourinho 

Martial hits back at Mourinho on Twitter: ‘Thanks for all your posts. My little Swan is fine but for the mother it is harder. Thanks to God she is better now. Sorry but my family will always come first, back tomorrow in Manchester.’  

Speculation grows that the former Monaco winger will leave the club before the transfer window closes.

Martial was criticised for not rejoining the squad in the U.S. after the birth of his son

9 August 2018- Transfer deadline closes with no new faces

Mourinho criticises the club’s inability to sign a new centre-half, saying the season will now be more difficult without reinforcements. 

He told Sky Sports: ‘I find myself in the beginning of the Premier League, with the market closed, I find myself in a situation that I thought I was not going to be in, but I think it’s the last time I speak about it.’ 

He also downgrades his job title, saying he is now more a head coach than a manager.

United sign no new defenders despite Mourinho handing Ed Woodward a list of five targets

10 August 2018 – An opening day win, but Pogba trouble brews

Pogba captains United in their first game of the season at home to Leicester, scoring a penalty in a 2-1 win. After the match, Pogba hints at some difficulty behind the scenes. 

He wrote on Instagram: ‘I’ll always give my best to the fans and my teammates no matter what’s going on.’

To reporters, Pogba said: ‘Like I always say, I always give my best for the fans, for my team-mates, for the people that trust me.’ 

Speculation of a rift between player and manager grows, with renewed talk of a transfer to Barcelona. United dismiss the story.

United start the season with a win as Paul Pogba captains the side to victory over Leicester

Pogba put a cryptic message on social media suggesting all was not right behind the scenes

24 August 2018 – Mourinho denies Ed Woodward rift

As rumours swirl of a rift between the Manchester United manager and executive vice chairman Ed Woodward following a disappointing transfer window, Mourinho says he has ‘no problem’ with his boss at a press conference.

Those words were heard by very few reporters, as the former Real Madrid manager turned up 30 minutes early, and left after less than five minutes.

27 August 2018 – Heavy Spurs defeat compounds a bad start

United endure their worst start to a new season for 26 years, losing two of their first three matches.   

Mourinho suffers the biggest home defeat of his career against Tottenham, a 3-0 loss, on 27 August. The next day, Mourinho demands respect from journalists before walking out of a pre-match press conference. 

He said: ‘What this means? [Holds three fingers up] 3-0 – but also means three Premier Leagues and I won more Premier Leagues alone than the other 19 managers together.’

A 3-0 defeat to Spurs means United suffer their worst start to a new season for 26 years

 Mourinho tells reporters he deserves more respect, raising three fingers to symbolise the three titles he has won

14 September 2018 –  Mourinho produces stats sheet to defend his use of Rashford

After Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher claimed Marcus Rashford would need to leave Manchester United to get more game-time, Mourinho arrived armed with a stats sheet to defend his use of the player.

Mourinho said: ‘With me, in two seasons, he had 105 appearances, 5,744 minutes, 63.8 matches of 90 minutes, including five finals.

‘So the people that is speaking about these minutes, I think they are a bit confused. Marcus Rashford is not Dominic Solanke, not Ruben Loftus-Cheek, not Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

‘He is Marcus Rashford, Manchester United player, with an incredible number of appearances and an incredible number of minutes played at the highest level in the best possible competitions.’

The former Chelsea boss was criticised for not giving Marcus Rashford enough game-time

Mourinho produced a stats sheet supporting his use of the player at a press conference

22 September 2018 – Boring football for Pogba

United recover to win three matches on the spin but are dismally disappointing in a 1-1 draw at home to Wolves. 

After the match, Paul Pogba tells reporters: ‘At home we should attack, attack, attack. That’s Old Trafford. We are here to attack. Teams are scared when they see Man United attacking and attacking. That was our mistake.’  

When asked what is stopping United attacking more, Pogba said: ‘I can’t tell you because I’m a player. It’s not me.’

United recover but then suffer a disappointing home draw to Wolves

After the match Paul Pogba tells the media United should attack more at home

25 September 2018 – Pogba stripped of vice captaincy

The build-up to United’s League Cup tie with Derby is overshadowed by the news that Pogba has been stripped of the vice captaincy by Mourinho. 

The £89million record signing is told by his furious boss that he will never captain the club again.

26 September 2018 – Mourinho confronts Pogba in training

United lose to Derby on penalties, with Mourinho saying after the game that he knew they were in trouble when Phil Jones stepped up to take a spot-kick. 

The next day sees images of a frosty confrontation between Mourinho and Pogba on the training ground at Carrington broadcast across the world. 

It transpires the discussion was about a flippant Instagram post put up by Pogba just after full-time at Old Trafford.

Pogba clashes with Mourinho about an Instagram post put up just after United lost to Derby

The pictures are broadcast around the world, coming after Pogba was stripped as Vice Captain

29 September 2018 – United suffer another defeat against West Ham

United trial a back-three and are comfortably defeated by West Ham, who had previously won just one of their opening six league matches. 

Scott McTominay is shoe-horned into defence while a fully-fit Eric Bailly sits on the bench. 

Mourinho criticised his players’ mentality: ‘I can have complaints with quality and mental approach. You have to try always and that is my nature as a football professional.’ 

United have now endured their worst start to a new season for 29 years.

Defeat at West Ham means United have suffered their worst start to a new season for 29 years 

The defeat piles the pressure on Mourinho, who subbed off Pogba after an hour

6 October – The axe awaits?

United follow up their defeat at West Ham with a lukewarm draw at home to Valencia. The day before, it was reported that Mourinho will be sacked regardless of his side’s result against Newcastle.

After falling 2-0 behind inside the first 10 minutes at Old Trafford, United pull off a stunning comeback to win 3-2. 

An animated Mourinho looks to have stayed execution for another day. The Portuguese manager derides the ‘wickedness’ in football and claims he has been subject to a ‘manhunt’.

United avert a calamitous home defeat to Newcastle with an emotionally charged comeback

Under-fire Alexis Sanchez nets the winner late on to quell reports that the sack is imminent

 8 October – FA investigate swearing claims

Mourinho’s emotionally charged touchline display results in an FA investigation for allegedly swearing in Portuguese to a camera as he walked off at full-time after United’s victory. Mourinho was asked for his observations about the incident and cleared, although the FA appealed.

The FA say they will investigate comments made to a camera by Mourinho after the game

December 18 – The End

Mourinho lasted just 13 more games after that victory over Newcastle. He leaves the club 19 points off the top of the Premier League table after a 3-1 humbling at the hands of rivals Liverpool on Sunday. 

Manchester United confirmed his departure in a statement on the morning of December 18, almost exactly three years to the day that Chelsea sacked him.

United said: ‘Manchester United has announced that Jose Mourinho has left the Club. We would like to thank him for his work during his time at Manchester United and wish him success in the future.’ 

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