Belfast Telegraph

Manchester United in talks to appoint external interim manager after sacking Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho watched Manchester United lose at Anfield in his final game in charge.
Jose Mourinho watched Manchester United lose at Anfield in his final game in charge.

Manchester United will make an external appointment as interim manager after sacking Jose Mourinho.

Michael Carrick and Northern Irishman Kieran McKenna will take charge of training before an appointment is made within 48 hours. The club are currently in discussions with the man they want to take charge until summer 2019.

The duo have been key parts of Mourinho's backroom team, alongside Italian fitness coach Stefano Rapetti.

The decision to dismiss Mourinho, who was in January handed a contract extension until 2020, came just two days after United's lacklustre 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

"The club would like to thank Jose for his work during his time at Manchester United and to wish him success in the future," said a club statement.

"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."

Mourinho was dismissed by Chelsea three years ago in December after the same result at the hands of the same side - Jurgen Klopp's Reds.

United are currently sixth in the table, 19 points behind their league-leading bitter rivals after a disappointing run of form. The Red Devils have now won just two of their last eight matches in all competitions.

Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is the favourite to become the club's next permanent manager, ahead of Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino, Antonio Conte and Laurent Blanc.

United legend Roy Keane had offered a scathing criticism of Mourinho's United after their defeat to Liverpool.

"Whatever about scoring a goal, you have to keep some clean sheets and they're all over the place," he said. "Liverpool could have scored four or five.

"The ambition from the manager saying we could finish fourth. You know - Manchester United.

"If you came down from the moon and didn't know anything about Manchester United, you'd think they're an average Premier League team. We look at the badge, the history - some of these players aren't good enough for Manchester United."

The final months of Mourinho's time in charge were marked by high-profile clashes with star players Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial, and apparent discontent over the club's failure to sign a defender in the summer.

The final straw came at Anfield on Sunday, when two late deflected goals from Xherdan Shaqiri  condemned United to defeat, leaving Mourinho with only seven wins and five draws from 17 league games this season.

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