Manchester United have shortlisted four candidates who could take charge as the permanent head coach at the end of the campaign, The Athletic’s David Ornstein reports.
The Red Devils recently secured a dramatic last-gasp win over West Ham United. The victory has seen them jump to fourth on the Premier League table.
With the transfer window closing in a week, there appears no plan to bring in any players, and the focus could be on outgoings. Anthony Martial could be one of those leaving.
Amidst this, the club are stepping up their pursuit of a permanent manager. Ralf Rangnick has done a credible job in an interim role, but he is not in contention for the vacancy.
The German tactician will step into a consultant job at the club for the next two years and work closely with CEO Richard Arnold and whoever becomes the new head coach.
Mauricio Pochettino’s name has been regularly mentioned in the media lately. The Paris Saint-Germain boss is one of the prime candidates alongside Ajax’s Eric ten Hag.
Spain’s Luis Enrique is also being considered by the hierarchy alongside Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui. The onus appears on candidates that have experience managing top European clubs.
United are long-term admirers of Pochettino, and there were suggestions that they could negotiate his release from Paris Saint-Germain earlier in the campaign.
Nothing of that sort materialised. Les Parisiens had no intention to part ways with the Argentine, but they could be open to ending the association this summer. Pochettino is far from enamoured with life in Paris.
Meanwhile, ten Hag would be someone that would match Ralf Rangnick’s tactical philosophy, but ultimately the decision will be left to the hierarchy as they may lean towards a more high-profile appointment.
Lopetegui has built his reputation after his Europa League success with Sevilla in 2020 and could be another realistic candidate.
Enrique may not be available as he is focused on continuing as Spain’s manager at the 2022 World Cup.
Among the quartet, Pochettino has vast Premier League experience.
He guided Tottenham Hotspur to several top-four finishes and the Champions League final with minimum spending.
He appears the ideal candidate for the vacancy, but the board could pull a surprise out of the hat by recruiting either ten Hag or Lopetegui, who have made a name for themselves at Ajax and Sevilla respectively.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com.
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