Manchester, Tuesday @PeopleSport11
Manchester United risk losing their best players if Jose Mourinho survives for the rest of the season and the mood around the club does not improve dramatically.
The 3-2 comeback win over Newcastle on Saturday has raised hopes that Mourinho can turn a corner and keep his job at Old Trafford following a weekend of intense scrutiny over his future.
Another school of thought is it merely papered over the cracks at United that have been apparent for some time between Mourinho and some of his players.
Paul Pogba remains the biggest concern, with United’s record £89million record signing desperate to leave the club and join Barcelona as early as January despite being told he is not for sale.
The Frenchman has fallen out with Mourinho and been stripped of the vice-captaincy, although Pogba could still push for a move to Spain even if the manager is axed.
Luke Shaw is out of contract at the end of the season and it is understood the England defender has no intention of signing a new one if Mourinho is still in charge.
United have tried to instigate talks but Shaw has not forgiven the manager’s brutal criticism over the last two years despite reclaiming a first-team place this season.
Anthony Martial’s willingness to discuss a new contract in recent weeks is thought to be on the basis that he believes the Portuguese coach will not be at United much longer.
Martial has been at odds with Mourinho and was fined for going AWOL from the tour of the US in July. Both player and manager were open to a move this summer but the club’s hierarchy would not consider it. Martial’s contract runs out at the end of this season although United will trigger a 12-month extension if the 22-year-old does not agree new terms.