Jose Mourinho's flirting with Paris Saint-Germain undermines his connection to United
The Portuguese still remains the preferred choice to take over at PSG.
United may have been in the course of winning three consecutive games in all competitions in late October but Mourinho wasn't completely happy. It was actually the Champions League week around his side's 2-0 home win over Benfica, so the Portuguese was talking to compatriots from the club at the Lowry Hotel. They spoke about a few issues, but also the current economic climate of the game. One comment stood out. High-level sources say Mourinho talked about how difficult it can be to compete 'against a state', or the financial power one can provide.
Whether he was making a reference to Manchester City's Abu Dhabi ownership and something that he will soon bring up more publicly remains to be seen, but there's also the edge it is a comment that would even more cleanly describe Paris Saint-Germain - the club he seems to have been so openly courting over the last few weeks. Whatever the context, Mourinho has made it clear he finds the PSG project 'special... magic... fantastic', something that has suddenly made his relationship with his current club a little less than special, magic or fantastic.
There's something not quite right at the moment. There are some close to the French club who claim that all of this is entirely one way and that the PSG hierarchy are not really interested in appointing Mourinho. If that is true, it would tally with what some at Old Trafford believe: that this is all just to get a better contract and improve his power at the club. Others at United are still fairly asking why he has taken this tactic right now, why he is talking like this, as well as creating other needless headlines like questioning supporters on Romelu Lukaku.
Some around the club have even wondered whether he has realised what a massive task it will be to match City. That could explain some of the irritation, some of the talk about a potential future elsewhere, and also add an extra element to private mentions of competing 'against a state'. Some within the United hierarchy still feel they should have pushed for Mauricio Pochettino, while Marco Silva has been noted as one to watch for when Mourinho does go. When that exactly will be remains the great unknown. All that is known for certain is that, right now, all is not quite as happy as it should be.