After a disappointing start to the season, Jose Mourinho has been sacked following the 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield. Meanwhile, Ole Gunnar Solskjær has been appointed has the interim manager until the end of the season.
In the meantime, let us look at the possible candidates to be the next permanent manager of Man United.
Mauricio Pochettino is a man in demand right now, after leading Tottenham to a strong position for a top 4 spot in the Premier League table despite their financial crisis. But, with the stadium plans going on and the lack of player signings might force Pochettino to look somewhere else. The Argentinian has been heavily linked with Real Madrid and Manchester United for a long time. Man United view Pochettino as a long term solution for the managerial position, someone who will bring stability to the club, someone who will help promote youth and moreover, someone who can fill in Sir Alex Ferguson’s shoes.
However, Pochettino recently signed a new 5-year contract this summer and if Man Utd are to convince him, they will have to deal with Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, who is a tough nut to crack.
Winning the UEFA Champions League in his debut season as a manager, and a strong contender for the Man United job, Zinedine Zidane can bring back the days of glory back in the Old Trafford. Pursuing Zidane could prove to be a great short-term solution for the Red Devils as he can win trophies and get the best out of his players as we saw in his spell at Real Madrid. The Frenchman can put the dressing room together as he is used to dealing with players with big egos. With the reported £24 million required to sack Jose Mourinho, Man United would not want to spend a lot on managers and while Zidane is free there would not be any need for compensation. Could Zidane be heading to Old Trafford?
A long-term solution for the Red Devils, Massimiliano Allegri, who is dominating in Italy, winning the Serie A title with AC Milan in 2010/11 2before guiding Juventus to four consecutive Serie A titles between 2014-18. Of all the trophies Allegri has won, there remains missing one trophy, the UEFA Champions League trophy, the Italian came the closest of winning the competition on two occasions when Juventus finished as runner-ups in the 2014-15 and 2016-17 season. Now, with Juventus signing Cristiano Ronaldo, Allegri will make one final attempt to win the UCL before looking up for a new adventure in the summer.
Laurent Blanc was one of the favorites to takeover as the interim manager before Solskjær got the nod. He is still one of the favorites to take charge in the summer. The Frenchman was sacked by Paris Saint-Germain in 2016 and has been out of a job since then. Blanc was rumoured of taking over at Chelsea last summer if the Blues failed to pursue Maurizio Sarri but Chelsea succeeded in their last attempt to negotiate with Napoli president, Aurelio De Laurentiis to free Sarri and join the Blues . Blanc has strong links with Manchester United after playing for the Red Devils for two seasons and winning the Premier League title in 2002-03. Appointing Blanc would require no compensation and the Frenchman is eager to return to management.
A proven winner in Italy and England, Antonio Conte, who re-introduced the 3-4-3 system in England won the Premier League in his first season in-charge of the Blues. They went on to set a massive 13-game win streak that season. The Italian who got the better out of players like Paul Pogba could be open to re-uniting with the World Cup winner in Man United. Conte would be free in the summer and hence there would be no need of paying compensation.
Despite his success, Conte is similar to Mourinho in terms of handling matters behind the scenes. Conte had fallen out with the Chelsea board after complaining about the lack of transfers which eventually led to his sacking. Would Man United be willing to replace one egoistic manager with another?
Ole Gunnar Solskjær
An unexpected name in this list, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, a former Man United forward, who is well known among the Man Utd fans for his dramatic late winner in the 1999 Champions League final. Solskjær has been appointed as interim manager until the end of the season and that has left many fans surprised considering his forgettable spell with Cardiff City in 2014. The Norwegian is joined by Mike Phelan, who has worked under Sir Alex Ferguson during his time at the Old Trafford. Solskjær is currently under contract with Molde FC and is expected to return to Norway at the end of the season, but if Ole can change the club’s fortunes, a new contract might be there for him at the Old Trafford.
It remains to be seen whether Man United would pursue another manager with short-term success or a manager with long-term stability. Who would you want as the next Man United manager?