Mourinho and Ed Woodward to hold clear the air talks


Speculation that Zinedine Zidane is being lined up as his replacement continues, while the Portuguese coach wants to discuss a January plunge into the transfer market to bolster his side

JOSE MOURINHO will have clear the air talks with Ed Woodward in the next 48 hours ahead of a club board meeting on Thursday.

The Manchester United boss and executive vice chairman will meet in London with Mourinho’s job still in doubt.

Mourinho is convinced the club have been making contingency plans for his succession.

If Woodward can convince him that’s not the case, the Portuguese will then use the meeting to discuss a January plunge into the transfer market to bolster the United side.

He will be interested to know just how much money he is going to get after the club reigned back on the summer spending when Mourinho demanded a new centre-half and winger.

They have, however, already given him over £350million to spend.

But players like Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof have flopped and it remains to be seen if they will trust the manager with another transfer splurge.

It is the question marks over his own position that Mourinho remains most angry about.

SunSport revealed last week how one of the favourites to take his job, Zinedine Zidane, had contacted Mourinho direct to say he was NOT plotting behind his back.

Zidane said that all that had happened was a discussion with his agent over whether he would like the job if it came up.

But Mourinho was convinced the agent must have been contacted by United.

On Saturday morning Mourinho was sent a text apparently from Woodward to ignore reports that he was going to be axed come what may in the game against Newcastle.

As it was his team produced a stirring fight-back from 2-0 down with 20 minutes to go to win 3-2.

Thursday’s board meeting will undoubtedly discuss Mourinho’s New Year targets and the recent results and controversies that have dogged the club.

Saturday’s result stemmed a run of four games without a win.

But United are already trailing in the title race and have gone out of the League Cup.

There have been off-pitch problems too, most notably in the relationship between Mourinho and record buy Paul Pogba.

A number of players have grown disillusioned with Mourinho’s reign.

But on Saturday at least there were positive signs in the second-half that things could be turned around.

Mourinho and Pogba even worked in tandem to sort the mess out with the manager consulting his player at the break on what to do about the tactics.

Pogba suggested Marouane Fellaini should be brought on while he dropped deeper in the pitch.

The switch worked as the French World Cup winner began to dictate the play in his best 45 minutes for the club this season.