There is reportedly a ‘growing concern’ at Manchester United that Jose Mourinho could leave the club at the end of the season.
The Daily Mail suggest that Mourinho has become more and more withdrawn at the club, spending less and less time in Manchester and returning to his home in London with alarming frequency.
Mourinho’s wife, Matilde, still lives in London and he has always maintained that London is home, with the Portuguese staying at the Lowry Hotel for the past 18 months. The report states that “one observer remarked on Wednesday: ‘Jose seems to be having third-season syndrome a year early with us.’”
It’s a worry for every United fan. The whole football world knows how Mourinho can leave a club in a bitter, distasteful fashion. That’s a risk that fans and the club took when looking to regain success after the miserable tenures of David Moyes and Louis van Gaal.
Mourinho has recently criticised the club’s board for a lack of spending and is reportedly now furious with the refusal to spend £40m on Tottenham Hotspur left-back Danny Rose. However, they are also reported to be willing to back him in the summer with two marquee signings being planned in order to catch up with Manchester City.
Mourinho’s travel habits are a concern. It’s suggested in the Mail that he used a private jet on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Club officials were not aware of this, suggesting that Mourinho paid for the jet himself.
His children no longer live at home, meaning some have questioned why Mourinho’s wife, Matilde, cannot move up to Manchester with him.
It’s been a peculiar few days of reports, contrasting in nature. Mourinho has been said to be furious, United’s board frustrated but also very pleased, Mourinho set to leave at the end of the season but simultaneously be close to signing a new long-term contract. Where the stories are coming from will, of course, remain unknown.
However, it seems likely that Mourinho’s representatives and United’s officials are playing a game out in the open of the media.