LONDON - We will find out in the next fortnight just how much Manchester United want Jose Mourinho to be their manager. Back him with the signings he wants and the club will send a strong message that Mourinho is their man to take the fight to Manchester City.
Fail to do so and it shows they do not believe he can take them forward. I can see both sides of the stand-off between him and Ed Woodward. Jose will have seen rivals City and Liverpool back their managers in the transfer window. He will feel he deserves to be treated the same way, after finishing second and reaching the final of the FA Cup.
The problem is that having already spent £360million in the past two seasons, Mourinho has gone into this summer demanding another five recruits. Since arriving at Old Trafford, he has strengthened almost every position in the team.
He has bought one of the best defensive midfielders in Nemanja Matic, an attacking midfielder in Pogba who has just dazzled on the world stage and serious firepower in Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez.
Yet throughout United’s pre-season tour, all Mourinho has done is moan. He sounds like someone trying to engineer an exit. Alarm bells will be ringing in the United boardroom. Why back him with another £300m if they are soon to be faced with having to find another manager?
The choice United face is simple. Buy Harry Maguire, buy another player and let Jose be happy. If they don’t he will continue to make his feelings known. But how much longer will the board tolerate his outbursts?
Jamie Redknapp earned 17 senior caps for England during his playing career, turning out for Bournemouth, Liverpool Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton. His column appears regularly in the Daily Mail.