Despite a fine campaign so far, in which they topped their Champions League group and occupied second place in the table for much of the season, they are nevertheless 13 points adrift of leaders City.
Only twice has a team won the title with a bigger margin, and Pep Guardiola now seems certain to win his first piece of silverware since taking charge of the club.
And, according to the Mirror, Mourinho could be one of the biggest victims of Guardiola’s success, with doubts growing among United board members that the Portuguese can overhaul the gap – this season or next.
United’s hierarchy have been left ‘stunned’ by the ease with which Guardiola has turned the title race into a procession, though they do feel Mourinho’s approach has not helped.
The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ has a very defensive and pragmatic style, especially in matches against their big-six rivals, and board members are not happy with the approach.
As such, they are questioning how sensible it would be to hand Mourinho a new contract, with tentative talks having taken place over a new deal.
Mourinho’s current contract expires in the summer of 2019, and previous reports had claimed that he was requesting a new three-year deal, and significant pay rise, as reward for United’s strong campaign – though they were far closer to City back then.
United have given Mourinho £300m to spend since he arrived, while he is already on £12m a year – and wants an additional £3m.
But United’s hierarchy expected a bigger return on their investment and thought United would be much closer to City than they are, leading to doubts about whether Mourinho can get the better of Guardiola any time soon.
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