Ed Woodward has admitted he blocked “one or two” of Jose Mourinho’s transfers when the new Tottenham boss was at Manchester United.

United’s executive vice-chairman Woodward sacked Mourinho, 56, last December amid disappointment at the lack of progress having spent nearly £400m on players.

Mourinho felt aggrieved at the support he received from the Red Devils in the transfer market as he missed out on current United player Harry Maguire with only Diogo Dalot, Fred and Lee Grant arriving at Old Trafford in summer 2018.

Woodward told United We Stand: “It is true that there was a difference of opinion on one or two players between the manager and the recruitment department.

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“Sometimes I have to be the one who delivers the ‘no’, which isn’t easy, because our natural tendency is to back the manager in every possible circumstance, but we have to listen to the recruitment experts too.”

Ex-Chelsea boss Mourinho wanted to sign a central defender for United and missed out on Spurs player Toby Alderweireld, Atletico Madrid’s Diego Godin and Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng before the club eventually paid £80m for Maguire this summer.

Mourinho wanted more players in than his bosses would permit during his last transfer window at United and expressed his displeasure during pre-season in 2018 .

He said: “I would like two more players. I don’t think I’m going to have two. I think it’s possible I’m going to have one. I gave my club a list of five names a few months ago.”

It wasn’t the first time he had raised concerns over United’s transfer policy as back in March 2017 he voiced his disagreement over decisions made by the club.

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He said: “Manchester United sold players that I would never sell and bought players that I would never buy.

“Di Maria, Chicharito, Danny Welbeck – never, no chance.”

The three-time Premier League winning manager should be happier now he is at Tottenham after claiming Spurs are ‘more powerful’ than United.

Shortly before he left Old Trafford he said: “Can we go to Tottenham and buy their best players? No – because they don’t sell or because they are so powerful that they can say no.”

Mourinho is also thought to have blocked some of Woodward’s preferred transfers, labelling them unattainable and the breakdown in the Portuguese manager’s relationship with the United hierarchy led to his sacking.

Club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was given the job on an interim basis before being taken on permanently in March this year.

But pressure is growing on Mourinho’s successor as United sit ninth in the Premier League with just 17 points from 13 games.

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher believes if United don’t improve before the end of the year then Woodward should be making contact with Mauricio Pochettino, who Mourinho replaced at Tottenham.

He said: “With a guy like Pochettino who could take this club forward, they would not be doing their job properly if they weren’t in contact with him.”

Pochettino was rumoured to be the first choice to replace Mourinho at Old Trafford and Carragher’s colleague Gary Neville now admits the Argentinian “could be the right person” for Old Trafford.

This article was originally published by and reproduced with permission.