Manchester United’s hierarchy decided in December that Jose Mourinho required large scale backing in the summer transfer market to address the gap with Manchester City, paving the way for a new contract for the 55-year-old the following month, according to reports.
Defeat at home to Manchester City in the Premier League, combined with a League Cup defeat at Bristol City and three frustrating draws to Leicester City, Burnley and Southampton, put an end to Man United’s title chances for another year.
Mourinho called on the board for greater investment following the 2-2 draw with Sean Dyche’s side on Boxing Day – despite being handed over £300m since arriving in June 2016 – and his public flirtation with Paris Saint Germain was indicative of a man tacitly asking for greater backing in the transfer market.
And according to M.E.N‘s James Robson, the Portuguese’s demands were answered as the club, initially relaxed over a new contract (which still had 18 months left to run at the time), handed Mourinho a fresh deal along with the guarantee of further backing over the summer window.
They immediately delivered, significantly trumping Man City’s offer for Alexis Sanchez and making him the club’s new No.7, but this is thought to be just the start.
Ed Woodward recognises the need for more investment to keep up with Pep Guardiola, who has spent £256m since the end of his opening campaign at the Ethiad, and United’s exit from the Champions League to Sevilla – which, it should be noted, could have been avoided had Mourinho decided to attack for more than 15 minutes over two legs – only compounded that notion.