A SCOTS football pundit is at the centre of an 'agenda' storm after he questioned Jose Mourinho's future status as manager of Manchester United when the club failed to bring in big signings on transfer deadline day.

Former Scottish international Craig Burley raised the possibility that the club board were trying to push the Portuguese coach out of Old Trafford by "trying to make his life as miserable as possible".

The 46-year-old former Chelsea, Celtic and Derby County midfielder also thought United were the biggest losers in the summer transfer window.

Burley said: "It's incredible. This transfer window has been a bit like Manchester United's transfer window, absolute pants.

"Liverpool got it done early and did some good business. But I am astonished, astonished that a club of their ilk, a club with their clout, a club that were so far off the pace last year in terms of the points gap, that they have done little or nothing.


"It beggars belief. It can only be a couple of things, either [chief executive] Ed Woodward is so inept at this part of the job [getting transfers over the line] where David Gill, the former chief executive was pretty good and had a good relationship with [Sir Alex] Ferguson, or Ed Woodward and the United board are absolutely trying to make Mourinho's life as miserable as possible in the hope they can work out some sort of deal where he goes sooner rather than later.

"Because you're not telling me Man Utd couldn't go out there and spend money on players."

Mourinho had said before the English Premiership transfer window shut at 5pm on Thursday that he was not confident of more players arriving before the deadline, and he was right.

United’s summer transfer business was restricted to the arrivals of Brazilian international midfielder Fred, the injured young Portuguese defender Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant, signed from Stoke City as a third-choice goalkeeper.

United finished as runners-up last season, 19 points behind Manchester City, and Mourinho had made it clear that his team needed more players if they are to overhaul their neighbours.


Ayr-born Burley, who has 46 caps for Scotland added: "Clearly nowhere near enough has been done to bridge the points gap with Manchester City [the English Premiership champions] from last year.

"I don't know what Ed Woodward and Mourinho have been doing, but I am sorry, this is not the Man United I know of recent years, sitting on their hands, watching other player and other clubs spend money."

But his comments have caused outrage amongst some United fans and sparked a row over whether the producers of the show he appeared on, ESPN FC had an anti Manchester United agenda.

One viewer told him on social media: "So Tottenham didn’t sign one player and you wanna say Man United had the worst transfer window?! The agenda here is real! Yes I am a United fan and it was disappointing."

Burley, who moved to the US in 2013 to work for ESPN said United might have had "half a chance" had they they had brought in Spurs defender Toby Alderweireld and Inter Milan's Croatian World Cup finalist Ivan Perisic.

He shakes his head as he adds: "But to bring nobody in?"

He added: "At the end of the day, I think it is a relationship that is going to come to an end sooner rather than later - Mourinho and Manchester United. Whilst it lasts, damn well coach this side. "This is what you've got. It's not the worst in the Premier League by a million miles.

"It's maybe not the best, but it is in the top two or three of squads, so go coach them. Go get your team right, get your tactics right, go get your team personnel right, oh and by the way, manage and encourage and get your players playing for you. Then you might have half a chance.

"If he goes the opposite way and things don't go well and he keeps moaning and groaning, I would be disappointed if they didn't just pull the rug from under his feet and say, 'this isn't looking good, we've had enough of you, get out of here'. "I mean, it's early for that, but I am painting a picture. He likes to paint pictures, I'm painting a picture as, you need to work with what you have now. If it's not going well, though, I don't want to hear the moaning and groaning and I am sure the United fans don't want to hear it as well.

"And I think United should be big enough, three or four months into the season, if we are seeing the same things as last year, just get rid of him."

He also said that there should be no discussion about it being okay for United merely to make the top four in the English Premiership, that would guarantee Champions League football stressing that they should be aiming much higher.

"I am not sitting here having a discussion about Man Utd making the top four, neither should any of their supporters, neither should any of their board members, and neither, by the way, should any player or manager of that football club," he said.

"They are bigger, they are better and their standards are higher than [just] being in the top four. So first and foremost, United's only goal should be trying to be very competitive in the Champions League and dominating English football again. That's the only thing good enough for them.

"Over a year ago now they chases Ivan Perisic. Reportedly the money was too much, but not by a great deal. This is a club, or a chief executive, or a board who have not pushed the boat out just that little bit extra for a player, who is a fantastic all round player, attacking, defending, strong, powerful, plays a lot of games and has just played in a World Cup Final 12 months later.

"Twelve months ago they were unprepared to do that deal, it beggars belief."

Fair comment, or agenda-driven Manchester United vitriol?  Craig Burley speculates about whether Jose Mourinho is being driven out of Old Trafford.