Sky Sports journalist Dharmesh Sheth has revealed that Manchester United bosses’ decision not to allow Jose Mourinho to make new signings during the summer transfer window was so “baffling”.

Mourinho has been sacked last Monday just after a 3-1 defeat to fierce rivals Liverpool and an underwhelming start to the season which left United down in sixth.

During the summer transfer window, Mourinho asked the club to give him a new centre-back. But United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has refused to back him in his transfer plans.

Sheth discussed the latest episode of the Transfer Talk podcast: “It’s very, very poignant that United did back Jose Mourinho and gave him that extended contract and then not to give him the centre-half that he wanted in the summer, that was baffling.”

“The way the summer transfer window panned out for United, it was a story of two halves it seemed.”

“They seemed to do all their business early. They got Fred in early, Diogo Dalot and another goalkeeper in Lee Grant early.”

“And then it just went quiet. They were after this centre-half – how many teams? Take your pick, comparing it to all of the other clubs that seemed to be doing their business focusing on one name, getting that name, either on that window or waiting for another window.”

“United seemed to have this list and it was like ‘they can’t get him, let’s go for him’. It just seemed the transfer policy had no rhyme or reason behind it.”

“And then, you get to the point that the season starts and the window shuts, and United haven’t got their defender that Jose Mourinho wanted and he’s already pre-empted that it’ll be a difficult season if they don’t get a centre-half in – and so it’s panned out.”

“It’s almost like Jose was saying ‘I told you, this is not my fault, I told you this would happen’.”

Mourinho was linked with a number of world-class defenders, including Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld, Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng, Leicester City ace Harry Maguire and Atletico Madrid star Diego Godin.

But Sheth added: “On the flipside, Gary Neville is saying he didn’t get backed but if you looked at the two-and-a-bit seasons Mourinho has been in charge, you cannot say he hasn’t been backed.”

“He bought two centre-halves – Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof. Surely then it’s the manager’s job, if you’ve bought these two defenders in for big money, it’s your job to integrate them into the team and make them better. That hasn’t happened.”

“Maybe the board were probably looking at that side of it and said ‘we had given him money, yes there was an issue in the summer, but we have given him money in the past. But a lot of his signings either aren’t at the club or aren’t in favour anymore’. It’s a really weird situation to be in.”

“It got to panic stations on deadline day. There was all that talk of Diego Godin as well.”

“Jose accused Godin’s agent of trying to get a new contract which came to pass.”

“It was like the fifth name to have been mentioned during that transfer window in that last four weeks. It was a different name every single week.”

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