Jose Mourinho has been sacked by Manchester United following their disappointing start to the season.
The Red Devils currently sit sixth in the Premier League table but have already lost five times in 17 matches, leaving them 19 points behind leaders Liverpool and 11 off fourth-placed Chelsea in the fight for Champions League places.
That follows a summer transfer window in which Mourinho routinely complained about a lack of signings, with the Portuguese unable to persuade the club’s hierarchy to sign a new centre-back.
Mourinho has continued to drop hints that he remains unhappy at that failure to spend big, and he now leaves after two-and-a-half years at the Old Trafford helm, with his final match in charge Sunday’s 3-1 defeat to arch-rivals Liverpool.
“Manchester United announces that manager Jose Mourinho has left the club with immediate effect,” a statement read.
“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.”
Mourinho replaced Louis van Gaal in the United hotseat in the summer of 2016 and was tasked with leading the 20-time English champions back to the top of the domestic game after a barren three years since Sir Alex Ferguson’s appointment.
He started well, winning the Community Shield in his first match in charge before claiming the League Cup thanks to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic-inspired 3-2 win over Southampton.
Form in the league was not as strong, however, with the Red Devils only able to finish in sixth place, though their season did end on a high as a 2-0 win over Ajax in the final of the Europa League saw them qualify for the 2017-18 Champions League.
Mourinho’s second season in charge saw United finish a distant second in the Premier League to Pep Guardiola’s record-breaking Manchester City, and while they crashed out of the Champions League to Sevilla in the last 16 and lost the FA Cup final to Chelsea, there was hope the former Real Madrid boss would be able to kick on again having signed a new improved contract in the early weeks of 2018.