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Rodgers, Zidane, Pochettino- the likely contenders to succeed Solskjaer at Man United

MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 16: Zinedine Zidane, Manager of Real Madrid reacts during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and RC Celta de Vigo at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on March 16, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Rodgers, Zidane, Pochettino- the likely contenders to succeed Solskjaer at Man United

The inevitable has happened at Old Trafford, even though it’s four weeks late. Manchester United decided to part ways with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after disastrous results over a month or so, which saw the Red Devils being hammered by Liverpool (5-0), Manchester City (2-0) and Watford (4-1).

The club announced Michael Carrick as a stand-in manager for the upcoming games while looking for an interim manager till the end of this season.

However, when it comes to a permanent solution, 20-time English Premier League champions are looking at the biggest names in football management with a move to Old Trafford. Here are some of the key candidates who could be taking on the Manchester United job in the summer:

Mauricio Pochettino: The PSG manager is favourite to take in charge of United and if the latest reports are to be believed – the Argentine is unhappy in Paris and is prepared to walk away from the club. The Red Devils have been a long term admirer of the former Tottenham Hotspur manager, who has been linked to the club in the past. He was one of the top contenders to replace Jose Mourinho in 2018 when he was sacked by the three-time European Champions but a string of good results under Ole help him land one of the most difficult jobs in English football.

Poch and United could be seen as a perfect fit – given the work he did with Tottenham. He helped Spurs reach the Champions League final and even helped them finish at their highest Premier League position despite being on a tight budget throughout his time at the club. Currently, he is managing top stars of the world football in the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, so handling United dressing room and big egos should not at all be a problem for the Argentine. United’s biggest problem of late has been in defence and tactically speaking Poch’s team have always been defensively resolute and worked as a unit.

Mauricio Pochettino has been linked with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's job for a long time. (GETTY Images)
Mauricio Pochettino has been linked with a Manchester United job for long time. (GETTY Images)

Zinedine Zidane: Zidane is another manager who United hierarchy are looking at. The former Real Madrid manager is currently out of job and is looking for a new assignment. The former Real Madrid manager won two La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues in his two spells at the Spanish club, before leaving the club at the end of last season. Zidane and Man United can be another match made in heaven given the legendary statuses of the former World Cup winner and the club.

However, it won’t be an easy task for the Premier League side to lure Zizou. According to report, the former French midfielder has already said ‘no’ to Man Utd and is exploring his option somewhere else. Zidane is waiting for a call from the French national side or French giants Paris Saint-Germain. However, both the jobs are still not available – so we will have to wait and see whether Zidane at United can become a possibility.

Brendan Rodgers: Another name that is popping up for United’s top roll is of current Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers. Despite struggling with Leicester this season – Rogers has impressed the majority of critics with the work he has done at the King Power. He has helped them finish fifth in consecutive seasons and even led them to FA Cup glory last season. The former Liverpool manager has an eye for talent and he knows how to build a team even with a limited budget.

Brendan Rodgers is one of the managers linked with replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford.(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Brendan Rodgers is one of the managers linked with replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford.(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

The 48-year-old has a very clear vision about the type of football he wants from his players and even have a very good understanding of which player fit in exactly which system, which United were definitely lacking under the leadership of Ole. He also gives youth a chance to show their traits which also fits in with the philosophy of the Red Devils.

Erik ten Hag: The 51-year-old is one of the most sought-after managers in world football at the moment. If you are not a fan of Dutch football – just watch Ajax play under ten Hag and without a doubt, you will become an instant fan. He tends to play 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 between the matches and the amount of pressing his team does is simply unbelievable. United have a bunch of players who suits his style of play and he can instantly improve the current United squad with his philosophy.

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Ajax are the most entertaining side to watch in Europe at the moment and they have shown that on the domestic front as well as in the Champions League. Although ten Hag himself has denied that he is currently not looking for a change and has no plans to leave Dutch champions, things can change if United make a serious approach.

Written by Abhishek Nandwani

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