Manchester United are looking for a new manager after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked following another chastening defeat on Saturday.
In charge since December 2018 after initially being brought in as Jose Mourinho’s temporary successor, the humiliating 4-1 loss at Watford brought down the curtain on the 1999 treble hero’s Old Trafford reign.
Michael Carrick has been placed in temporary charge, with United saying they will be looking for an interim boss until the end of the season.
Here we look at potential candidates for the role, with former United players featuring prominently.
The man in possession. Solskjaer had started his tenure in a similar role when named caretaker boss in December 2018 after Mourinho’s sacking and went on to win 10 of his first 11 games before being named full-time boss the following March. Carrick, 40, will hope he can turn things around in similar style to stake his own claim for the role. He has been part of the coaching set-up at United, originally under Mourinho, since retiring as a player in 2018 after a 12-year career at Old Trafford.
The Spain coach has plenty of experience in getting the best out of a collection of talented individuals, which is undoubtedly what United have. He won the treble during his first season at Barcelona and added another La Liga title with the help of a front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar. His success with Spain this year at Euro 2020 and in the Nations League shows he is also capable of producing an exciting team without the same quality of stars he had available to him at the Nou Camp. Fluent in English, Enrique has said he would one day like to coach in the Premier League and with no international football now until March, helping out United would not encroach on the 51-year-old’s role with Spain.
Blanc has the United connections and, more importantly, the top level coaching experience the club should be looking for. The former United defender won the Ligue 1 title in France with Bordeaux, before repeating the feat another three times with Paris St Germain where he also won eight other trophies during his three years in charge. At PSG he also worked with Edinson Cavani. The 56-year-old is currently managing in Qatar with Al Rayyan, but could be keen on the chance to return to Old Trafford.
The 63-year-old is one of football’s revolutionary figures, viewed as an inspiration for coaches in much the same way as Marcelo Bielsa. Rangnick, who most recently oversaw the rise of RB Leipzig in German football, offers immediate stability and also the ability to build for the future if he was to be moved upstairs to the Director of Football role in the long term. He is currently working as a sporting director at Lokomotiv Moscow.
United’s all-time leading goalscorer has been cutting his managerial teeth at Derby over the past year, where he has been battling against the odds, unable to make signings, and now hit with a huge 21-point deduction. Luring Rooney away from the Championship club would certainly be box office but it is surely not the right move.
The former United captain was sacked by Newcastle last month following the club’s takeover, just after taking charge of his 1,000th game as a manager. The 60-year-old is reported to have thrown his hat into the ring for the temporary job as United look for a safe pair of hands for the remainder of the campaign.M