Football News

Man Utd’s top-four failure has ‘changed the picture’ regarding Mike Phelan director hopes

By Steve Jennings

Published: 17:49, 8 May 2019

Mike Phelan has said it is unclear whether he will be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s assistant or Manchester United’s new technical director next season, according to former Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr.

Phelan has been working under Solskjaer since the Norwegian initially took over as United’s interim manager but there have been suggestions he could soon take up a directorial role.

Why is Phelan’s role at Man Utd unclear? Five key things to know…

  1. Phelan is Solskjaer’s assistant manager but he is still contracted to A-League side Central Coast Mariners as a sporting director.
  2. United are yet to appoint a technical director, but the Manchester Evening News claims Phelan has effectively taken up the role in meetings.
  3. The MEN believes the United board expect Phelan to make his stay permanent, whether that’s as assistant manager or in a technical role.
  4. Solskjaer wants Phelan to continue as a coach but Phelan apparently wants the director job.
  5. United’s failure to qualify for the Champions League has apparently “changed the picture” when it comes to Phelan’s future role.

Kerr, who managed the Republic of Ireland between 2003-2005, claims to have spoken to Phelan during United’s 1-1 draw with Huddersfield Town on Sunday.

Attending the match as a pundit, Kerr says Phelan told him his future role at Old Trafford is unclear.

“Mike Phelan said to me the picture changes from week to week,” Kerr said. “I was asking him if he’s going to be in the coaching role next year or take this job that has been mentioned as technical director.

“And he said, ‘I don’t know, they haven’t spoken to me, they haven’t talked to me yet, the picture changes from week to week’. And what he means is that results change the perspective.”

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Changes afoot at Man Utd

Regardless of whether Phelan switches jobs ahead of next season, there are certain to be major changes in personnel at United this summer.

A number of players have been criticised for showing a lack of application by the likes of Gary Neville and Roy Keane in recent weeks, which could result in an exodus.

Ander Herrera is reportedly set to join Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer, while Paul Pogba has been heavily linked with Real Madrid in recent weeks.

Solskjaer will be hoping for several new recruits in order to put a team together worthy of challenging for Champions League qualification next term.