This was an article we had hoped we would not have to be putting together so soon. But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s future at Manchester United is a legitimate talking point.
Whether you are ‘Ole Out’ or ‘Ole In’, United’s poor form has threatened to bring an end to Solskjaer’s tenure as boss. A further run of losses might make keeping him in place unsustainable.
The next question is obviously ‘who will replace him?’, and the media are already touting various names.
Here are five top options to replace Solskjaer if it came to it…
Former Juventus boss Allegri is out of work and reportedly keen on the United job.
The Guardian reported that he is even learning English in preparation for a potential move.
Allegri won five Serie A titles with Juventus, four Coppa Italias and reached the Champions League final twice.
Verdict: A safe bet in terms of future success, but it would mean a shift in philosophy from the club. Will he be given the tools he needs?
Erik Ten Haag
Ajax boss Erik Ten Haag has been credited with masterminding their return from also-rans to becoming one of Europe’s top teams.
Ten Haag led Ajax to the Champions League semi-finals last season and has helped launched the careers of Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt.
His youth first philosophy would fit with Manchester United, as would his commitment playing to attacking football.
Verdict: An exciting addition and one which could bring success. Could he even tempt Edwin van der Sar to come with him? It is a big ask to get him to quit Ajax mid-season.
Red Bull Leipzig boss Nagelsmann is on United’s radar as a future manager, The Mail report.
Nagelsmann is just 32, younger than Ashley Young. His side sit in fifth place in the Bundesliga.
He began coaching Hoffenheim at just 28 and has been nicknamed ‘baby Mourinho’.
Verdict: This would be a positive and bold appointment, but it feels like the wrong career move from Nagelsmann’s perspective. Will he start well, have a dip in form, and then get chewed up and potentially spat out like Solskjaer?
Former Paris Saint-Germain boss Laurent Blanc is out of work at present and like Allegri, is immediately available.
Blanc is a former United player like Solskjaer and understands the club. He won three Ligue 1 titles at PSG and the Coupe de France twice.
He has not managed anybody since leaving PSG in 2016, although as GFFN report, he is being lined up for the vacant Lyon job, meaning United may miss out.
Verdict: Probably a safe pair of hands, but not without risk. Blanc’s success at PSG came a bit too easily. He might be better off proving himself elsewhere first.
Perhaps this is the one Ed Woodward really wants. Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is having a torrid time in North London at present.
United’s hope would be that Tottenham are foolish enough to sack him, or he walks away.
Real Madrid would also be interested. This one is a long shot, but Tottenham’s poor form gives it a chance.
Verdict: A good manager if United are looking to build, but Pochettino looks a little burnt out at present. Can he handle the pressure of Old Trafford? It is pretty unlikely United can get him in any case.
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