Jose Mourinho has seen his Manchester United transfer dealings branded “diabolical”, with selling Paul Pogba and buying Lionel Messi considered by Willie Morgan to be the Portuguese’s only hope of turning things around.
The Red Devils endured a summer of frustration in the recruitment market during the last window, with the club unable to bring any centre-half reinforcements on board despite making additions in that area a top priority.
Mourinho is, as a result, having to make do with those already at his disposal, many of whom he has snapped up for big money since taking the reins at Old Trafford in the summer of 2016.
He is struggling to bring the best out of an inconsistent squad at present, with a humbling Carabao Cup defeat to Derby seeing his future called into question once more , while the ongoing talk of a rift with star man Pogba is doing nobody any favours .
Former United star Morgan, who made more than 200 appearances for the club between 1968 and 1975, believes Mourinho is almost at breaking point, with his business to date having not been good enough and there now little choice but for him to part with an £89 million ($117m) asset.
Morgan told Love Sport Radio : “Mourinho’s buys have been diabolical and the way he wants them to play football, not just now, this is since he came, all that defensive football, hoping for a breakaway – that’s not what I want to watch and it’s not what Manchester United fans want to watch.
“If he was winning and he was getting away with it, you could say ‘at least he’s gone the right way’. But he’s not and it’s the standard of player [that is the problem].
“I advocated Mourinho coming. I thought he’d be great and I thought he’d come and say ‘okay, this is Manchester United, this is how they play’ and join in. But he’s reverted to probably why he got the sack at Chelsea and the sack at Barcelona. He’s reverted to that. But you can’t blame him completely.
“He’s brought in [players] who he thought would be alright, they’re not. It’s not for lack of trying from the manager’s point of view. As a manager, if you’re sat there, you’re relying on your players. It’s soul-destroying if they’re not doing it for you because at the end of the day, you’re responsible.
“The players that are there now would not be there under Pep Guardiola.
“I think Pogba will go because you cannot have that festering behind the scenes. There will be pockets with him, pockets against him… you just can’t have it. Something has got to give and I think he will go.
“And hopefully, he’ll buy Lionel Messi and then we might have a chance!”
United, with or without Pogba, will be looking to get their season back on track this weekend when they put their Old Trafford struggles behind them and head back out on the road to face West Ham on Saturday.