Mourinho ‘has full backing of Manchester United board’

Jose Mourinho has Manchester United’s ‘full backing’ as manager, according to reports. Former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has been linked as a potential replacement at Old Trafford, amid claims this could be Mourinho’s last season in charge. However, a ‘senior source’ from the club has dismissed the speculation.

Mourinho is thought to be under pressure after a poor start to the new Premier League season, which has triggered reports of a fractured dressing room at Old Trafford. A frustrating summer of disrupted pre-season preparations and a lack of new signings led Mourinho to forewarn of a “difficult season” for the Red Devils.

And they have not had a greatest start – scraping a 2-1 home win against Leicester City before a shambolic 3-2 defeat at Brighton on Sunday. The manner of that loss intensified the scrutiny on United’s players and manager, with the odds on Mourinho becoming the first manager to be sacked this season tumbling. But the club appear to have thrown their support behind the Portuguese coach.

Asked about the Zidane speculation, a senior Man United source has been quoted as saying: “Why would we discuss him when there is no job available?” Press Association Sport has also reported that they understand Mourinho ‘retains the full backing of the club’s hierarchy’.

It is also said United chiefs began the new campaign ‘confident’ the so-called third-season syndrome will not strike Mourinho at Old Trafford this term. However, that has not stopped Mourinho’s critics – with Lee Sharpe telling talkSPORT on Tuesday there is ‘no plan’ at United and that he expects the boss to be gone by Christmas.

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