Roy Keane wants Diego Simeone as next permanent United manager

Manchester United took on Diego Simeone on Wednesday night in the last 16 of the Champions League.

The Argentine had the home crowd whipped up into a typical frenzy and his team played with the emotion which has always marked out his Atletico Madrid sides.

Atletico flew into United in the early stages, going 1-0 up within seven minutes and hitting the crossbar right on half time instead of making it 2-0.

And former United captain said on the Overlap Live that he thinks Simeone should be the man in the Old Trafford dugout at the end of the search to replace Ralf Rangnick.

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“If you look at United in the last few years, David Moyes’ contract was up at Everton,” he said.

“Louis Van Gaal was available and didn’t cost any compensation. Jose Mourinho was available. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was pretty straightforward. It’s as if (United) won’t go to prise a top manager away from a club.

“People say, ‘Well, he’s already tied up with a club’. But if you really want a manager, the same as you want a player, you go and get him. You go and get the manager you think is the right manager for your club.

“None of this, ‘He’s not available for two years’. If he’s the right manager for Man United, go and get him. Pay the money, whatever it takes. Because you pay fortunes for players.

“He’s done great things. Big character, big personality, doesn’t mess round with players. Go and get Simeone.”

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What Simeone’s Atletico Madrid side did after going ahead may speak to why he would not be an ideal fit for United. They sat back and invited pressure.

Ultimately, that allowed a United side who were nowhere near their best on the night to get back into the game.

Another issue is that Simeone is not an English speaker and that is quite the drawback for someone who wants such an emotional connection with his players.

That said, there is no doubt he is among the elite managers in European football and has the pedigree at the top level which not many other bosses on United’s radar can match.

It is a similar conundrum with Antonio Conte. Both he and Simeone are incredible managers, capable of bending a club to their will, but United seem stung by Jose Mourinho and do not want that level of unrest again.

That said, as Keane eludes to, that may mean they do not go and get the very best man for the job – once again – and risk trying to battle with Thomas Tuchel, Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola with an inferior manager.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.