Manchester United are set to sack Jose Mourinho this weekend no matter the result of the match against Newcastle United, and pay £20m compensation to him.
Former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is the favourite to succeed Mourinho, who is set to receive compensation of around £20million. Michael Carrick could be put in temporary charge.
However, Mourinho insisted he is the man to turn Manchester United’s ailing season around, disputing the impending sack report by Daily Mirror.
United are struggling in 10th place in the Premier League, without a home win in any competition since the opening weekend of the season.
Mourinho, second right, walks away at Old Trafford shell shocked by second tier Derby County on 25 September
According to the Mirror, Mourinho has lost the confidence of the board with “senior United sources” telling the paper that the Portuguese coach’s nearly two-and-a-half-years in charge will end whatever the outcome of the league game against the Magpies.
Tuesday’s goalless draw against Valencia in the Champions League — a match where United struggled to live up to their fans’ expectation of attacking football — also meant former Chelsea boss Mourinho had gone four home matches without a win for the first time in his managerial career.
Mourinho has a problem with the club’s most expensive player Paul Pogba too
He has repeatedly and publicly berated United’s players this season, suggesting in Tuesday’s programme notes they had lost their “dignity” in a 3-1 league loss at West Ham last Saturday.
Mourinho has in turn come for stinging criticism from ex-players, with former United midfielder Paul Scholes accusing him of “embarrassing” the club.
The manager has responded by claiming United overachieved last season in finishing second, 19 points behind champions Manchester City, adding he always expected this campaign to be more difficult.
Asked at his pre-match press conference on Friday if he felt he had taken United as far as he could last season, Mourinho said: “No. This team can do much better than what it is doing. The team will do much better than what it is doing.
“If you want me to repeat (what I said earlier this week), I repeat. I said last season was a fantastic season for us.
“And if you want something more, in pre-season I also said that this season was going to be very difficult.”
The 55-year-old Mourinho defended himself in the press conference, called for the earlier-than-usual time of 8:00 am which lasted for eight minutes and 29 seconds, and consisted of just 649 words
He gave short answers to most of the questions put to him, including when asked why it was so difficult to get players working together with team spirit. “Because sometimes things are not just in the manager’s hands,” he replied.
Mourinho rejected suggestions his squad were struggling for confidence.