The bookmakers are pricing up the next permanent Manchester United manager odds with Mauricio Pochettino the early favourite, but will the Old Trafford hierarchy turn to him come the end of the season?
5:00 pm Sunday May 22
Mauricio PochettinoTo be the next Manchester United manager
It has been yet another eventful season for Manchester United – both on and off the pitch.
After a woeful few weeks culminated in a 4-1 loss at the hands of relegation-threatened Watford, the club unsurprisingly moved to sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Defeats to Liverpool and Manchester City saw the Red Devils start to lose faith in Solskjaer and as the poor performances and results continued, it seemed inevitable that the Norwegian would leave the club sooner rather than later.
Shortly afterwards, the club appointed Ralf Rangnick on an interim basis until the end of the season while continuing the search for a new permanent boss.
But who will it be? The current favourite is PSG’s Mauricio Pochettino, who United have been linked with for quite some time.
Brendan Rodgers and Erik ten Hag have also emerged as leading candidates at this stage, along with Zinedine Zidane. Let’s take a look at the credentials of each one.
The highly-rated Paris Saint-Germain head coach has been linked with a move to Old Trafford on several occasions.
The Argentine led Tottenham to second place in the 2016-17 Premier League and the Champions League final two years later, while he appears to be handling the big egos at PSG with the French giants currently 13 points clear at the top of Ligue 1.
Currently in temporary charge, the reins are in very experienced hands. The 63-year-old German guided Schalke to a second-place finish in the 2004-05 Bundesliga, before steering them to DFB-Pokal glory and the Champions League semi-finals six years later.
Rangnick appears to have steadied the ship at Old Trafford; going unbeaten in his first five matches across all competitions. Although, he will be hoping the defeat by Wolves last time out was a mere blip and not a sign that the Red Devils’ problems are far from over.
The reigning FA Cup winners, Leicester are now firmly established as one of the top teams in England, having narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification in each of the last two years.
That is mainly down to the attractive attacking style of football implemented by Rodgers, who also won seven major honours at Celtic, while he steered Liverpool to within whiskers of the Premier League title in 2014.
Erik ten Hag
Now in his fourth full season with Ajax, where he has reaped the rewards of giving youth a chance, Ten Hag has guided the Dutch giants to two Eredivisie titles along the way.
He also took them to within seconds of the 2019 Champions League final, with local products including Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong and Donny Van de Beek – who could resurrect his Old Trafford career under his old boss – embracing their opportunities to shine on the big stage.
The only manager who can boast winning three consecutive Champions League titles, Zidane is also available to approach after leaving Real Madrid for a second time last May.
The former midfield maestro, who also led Los Blancos to two La Liga triumphs, now has plenty of experience of dealing with big egos, while he would be reunited with Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane.