Klopp offers sympathy to sacked Mourinho: He's an outstanding manager

The Liverpool boss pointed to the titles that the Portuguese has won during his managerial career and says the last few months must have been tough

Jurgen Klopp believes Jose Mourinho remains an “outstanding manager” and saluted the titles he’s won in football following his sacking as Manchester United boss.

The Portuguese paid for United’s woeful start to the 2018-19 campaign, with the club releasing a statement on Tuesday morning to confirm that he had left.

Indeed, United are currently sixth in the Premier League table, 19 points behind leaders Liverpool, and have their worst points tally in England’s top flight since 1990-91.

And Klopp, who guided his side to a 3-1 win over United in what was Mourinho’s final game in charge, was sympathetic when asked for his reaction to the news.

“He’s a very competitive guy, very ambitious, unbelievably successful and I can imagine the last few months were not a joy, especially for him,” he told reporters.

“Nobody can take away all the things he won. He’s an outstanding manager.”

Mourinho has won three Premier League titles across two spells with Chelsea, while he claimed the Europa League and Carabao Cup in his first season at United, finishing runners-up to Manchester City in the league in 2017-18.

That led to United offering a new deal in January that was due to tie him down at Old Trafford until 2020.

The Red Devils have decided to sack him now, however, with reports claiming they have been forced to pay as much as £24 million ($30m) to release him from his contract.

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard also offered his reaction to Mourinho losing his job, telling reporters: “He’s a winner. How can I sit here and say anything bad about him?

“He’s a serial winner. He’s been sacked at Manchester United but he’s won them a couple of trophies.

“I don’t think you can criticize him too much. It will be interesting to see which direction they go in next.”

It remains to be seen who United will appoint next, with the club having announced they will look to bring in an intermin manager until the end of the season.

That has seen Laurent Blanc and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer linked, and Goal understands the club will appoint an external candidate in the temporary post, rather than any member of their current coaching team.

Zinedine Zidane and Mauricio Pochettino, meanwhile, are the favourites to land the permanent post at the conclusion of the 2018-19 campaign.

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