10.7 C
London
Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Man Utd plot swift interim manager appointment after drawing up shortlist of five foreign candidates

Michael Carrick, the current caretaker, is braced to take charge against Premier League leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge if an interim is not appointed before then.

United are due to face Arsenal at Old Trafford next Thursday and there is a desire to make the appointment as quickly as possible.

Carrick oversaw a 2-0 win against Villarreal in Spain on Tuesday night that guaranteed United’s progress to the Champions League knockout stage as group winners and lift the mood after a tumultuous past week.

John Murtough, United’s football director, is leading the search for an interim manager and has been busy conducting interviews this week. 

Rangnick, the 63-year-old former RB Leipzig and Schalke coach, is currently head of sports and development at Lokomotiv Moscow, but the other candidates are not in jobs. Valverde, 57, who guided Barcelona to back-to-back La Liga titles and the Copa del Rey, left the Nou Camp in January last year.

Former Roma coach Garcia, also 57, who led Lille to a league and cup double in 2010-11 and Marseille to the Europa League final in 2018, was in charge of Lyon when they knocked Manchester City out of the Champions League last year but he left the French club at the end of last season.

Favre, 64, who won two Swiss titles with FC Zurich and has previously managed Hertha Berlin, Nice and Borussia Monchengladbach, had 18 months at the helm at Borussia Dortmund before departing 11 months ago.

Although none of the candidates named has experience of managing in the Premier League, they are all seasoned coaches and United hope they will be able to reverse the team’s slide after seven defeats in Solskjaer’s final 13 games in charge, which culiminated in him being sacked on Sunday, and bring an upturn like Chelsea experienced under Benitez and Hiddink. 

Benitez took over at Chelsea at a similar stage of the campaign to United’s impending interim after Roberto Di Matteo’s dismissal in November 2012 and, despite fan opposition owing to his past history with Liverpool, the Italian led the club to Europa League glory and a third-place finish in the Premier League. 

Hiddink had two interim spells at Stamford Bridge, most recently when he took over from the sacked Jose Mourinho in December 2015 with Chelsea in 16th position, a point off the relegation places. The Dutchman guided Chelsea to a 10th-place finish that season.

In February 2009, he replaced Luiz Felipe Scolari, following a six-day stint in which Ray Wilkins served as caretaker, and led Chelsea to the FA Cup and a fourth-place finish in the Premier League.

United are hoping the new man will secure Champions League qualification – they are currently in eighth position, six points adrift of West Ham in fourth – and oversee the club’s progress in the Champions League and FA Cup. 

Pochettino had left the door open for a move to Old Trafford but senior sources at both United and PSG denied there had been an approach for the 49-year-old, even though the French club are aware he is interested in succeeding Solskjaer.

There is tension between Pochettino and PSG’s sporting director Leonardo and the Argentine has complained at the lack of control he has at the French giants. It is understood Pochettino wants to be regarded as a manager rather than a head coach and would demand such a role at his next club.

PSG faced Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday night and will try to discover Pochettino’s intentions after the tie. They insist that, despite being unsettled, Pochettino has not informed them that he wants to quit the club now and return to the Premier League.

Pochettino professed himself content at PSG in his pre-match press conference but he also chose his words carefully and did not rule out his interest in the United post.

PSG believe it would be damaging for a club of its size and ambitions – winning the Champions League this season is their goal – to lose their coach midway through a campaign.

Interestingly, though, it appears they would be willing to enter into negotiations at the end of the campaign even though Pochettino would still have another year left on his contract.

An extension until June 2024 was triggered last summer amid interest from Tottenham Hotspur in taking Pochettino back. It is understood he wanted to return to Spurs.

PSG are also aware that former Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane would be interested in taking over from Pochettino when he eventually leaves.

News
Latest news
Related news

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

31 − 21 =