Rio Ferdinand believes Jose Mourinho had taken Manchester United as far as he could prior to his departure from Old Trafford.
Mourinho, who won the Premier League three times across two spells with Chelsea, left United 17 games into his third season with the club, United sitting 19 points behind leaders Liverpool.
In his role as a television pundit, Ferdinand had been critical of Mourinho's treatment of the club's younger players in recent weeks after the Portuguese suggested Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford were "lacking maturity".
The former United captain feels the time had come for Mourinho to go and believes the club requires an "injection of positivity" during what has been a difficult campaign so far.
"Right now is the right time," Ferdinand wrote in an Instagram post.
"Things aren't improving and he has taken it as far as he can.
"I was one of his biggest advocates two and a half years ago when he joined the club and felt he stabilised [Manchester United] when we needed it.
"You can't ignore what Jose has achieved as a manager previously but I feel the time has come for fresh ideas.
"People have been critical of my comments on TV of late but as a fan I am saying it as I see it.
"The club needs an injection of positivity and hopefully this decision will allow that to happen.
"I wish Jose all the best and wish him well for the future."
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