Jose Mourinho is demanding the public backing of Manchester United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward before Saturday's Old Trafford clash with Newcastle, sources have told ESPN FC.
The move amounts to a back-me-or-sack-me plea, amid reports that Mourinho will be dismissed as manager after the game, regardless of the result.
Sources have told ESPN FC that Mourinho has been pushing for a show of support from Woodward and the Glazer family, United's owners, in recent weeks, with further efforts made this week to prompt them into a public statement of their backing.
Mourinho goes into the Premier League fixture with United searching for a first home win in all competitions since the opening weekend of the season -- a run that has put the 55-year-old's job on the line.
Senior sources continue to insist privately that Mourinho remains safe for now and the Florida-based Glazer family do not want to terminate Mourinho's contract, which is due to run until June 2020, despite the recent run of form that has seen United slump to a midtable position in the Premier League and suffer Carabao Cup elimination at the hands of Championship outfit Derby County.
But despite Woodward praising Mourinho's credentials during a recent conference call to the club's investors, the former Real Madrid and Chelsea manager has grown increasingly frustrated by what he perceives to be a lack of credible, public backing from his bosses.
Mourinho was angered by a lack of investment in his squad during the summer, when the club failed to sign a top-class centre-half, and he has also been irked by the absence of support following public spats with star players Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial.
The Glazer-led hierarchy at United has a long-held policy of not speaking publicly about club matters, however, and neither the Americans nor Woodward have been prepared to alter that stance, opting instead to operate a "business as usual" approach.
Sources at United have told ESPN FC that they believe Mourinho to be increasingly unhappy and ill-tempered at the club.
There is a determination among the Glazers to see Mourinho emerge from his current difficulties on the pitch, however, especially with no credible replacement available.
But with his future now a matter of daily discussion and headlines suggesting his time as manager is running out, Mourinho wants Woodward to dismiss all reports of his job being on the line.
A failure to do so ahead of the Newcastle game could be viewed by Mourinho as evidence of a loss of faith and, therefore, a clear signal that his time is up at United.