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The leadership of Manchester United has given its full support for Jose Mourinho to continue on the saddle despite speculations that former Real Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane may be signed on.

United’s first Premier League away trip of the season ended in a 3-2 defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

The poor result and lacklustre performance followed a summer of tension and frustration at United, with Mourinho disappointed by a lack of support in the transfer market.

Senior sources at United have dismissed any interest in Zidane, however, insisting that there is no potential vacancy to discuss.

Mourinho signed a new United contract in January, extending his stay at Old Trafford until 2020 with the option of a further year.


The Portuguese hoped to add a central defender and a wide player to his squad during the summer transfer window but was left disappointed on both counts.

United made only three signings – midfielder Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk, teenage full-back Diogo Dalot from Porto and reserve goalkeeper Lee Grant.

It is understood that while Mourinho wished to sign experienced players at the peak of their careers, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward sought younger players who could be developed.

On Monday night, the former United full-back Gary Neville criticised Woodward, claiming he should have backed his manager in the transfer market.

“The minute he gave Mourinho a contract extension in January, he had to buy him centre-backs,” he told Sky Sports.


“[Toby] Alderweireld and [Harry] Maguire would have been good options. If it costs £120 million, that’s what you have to do.”

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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