Five facts about possible Manchester United interim manager Ernesto Valverde

Manchester United are considering Ernesto Valverde for the interim manager position, report The Guardian.

United’s statement when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked stated the club were looking for an interim boss until the end of the season.

Reports of Mauricio Pochettino’s desire to take the job on immediately, via The Mail, have clouded the outlook since.

The Guardian report United are still considering all possibilities and Valverde is one possible interim option.

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So who is Ernesto Valverde and what do Manchester United fans need to know?

1) Ernesto Valverde is best known for his spell as Barcelona manager, between 2017 and 2020. He is currently out of work.

Valverde won 66.9 per cent of his games in charge at Barcelona, during which he led the team to win two La Liga titles and one Copa del Rey trophy. He lost only 16 of 145 matches.

He was sacked midway through his third full season amid a disappointing run of form.

2) Valverde earned the Barcelona job with a strong run as manager of Athletic Bilbao, for who he played 170 games as a player.

During this spell as Bilbao manager, Valverde led the team to win a Super Copa trophy over Barcelona. They had qualified for it after finishing as Copa del Rey runners-up.

3) Valverde’s first real managerial success came in Greece with Olympiakos.

A trophy-laden spell saw Valverde lead Olympiakos to three league titles and two Greek Cups.

4) Valverde has also had separate managerial spells in charge of Valencia, Espanyol, Villarreal, and also Athletic Bilbao’s academy.

Over the past 20 years, Valverde has managed more than 700 top flight matches.

5) Valverde has faced Manchester United twice as manager and won both matches.

He was in charge against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United in 2019 for the Champions League quarter-finals. Barcelona won 1-0 at Old Trafford and 3-0 at the Nou Camp.

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Is Valverde a good option?

As an interim boss, Valverde ticks several boxes for Manchester United.

He has a lot of experience, winning titles in two different countries, and he has shown he is able to handle big names and star players.

Valverde also knows Cristiano Ronaldo well from managing his sides against him.

His experience in the Champions League also counts in his favour, although late collapses in knockout stage ties against Roma and Liverpool are black marks against him.

Valverde was criticised at Barcelona towards the end of his reign for the way his 4-3-3 style was implemented, with Barca Blaugrunes claiming his side lacked identity and were too passive.

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