Manchester United’s decision to sack Jose Mourinho has left them with two positions to fill.
The club have already stated they will name a temporary manager until the end of the season, giving them time to find a full-time successor.
The short-term role is a difficult one, as they will need to provide stability to a fractured dressing room while knowing the club are lining up someone else behind the scenes.
It is likely to be someone with a connection to the club. Here, we consider five men who could take over at Old Trafford on a deal until June 2019.
Mourinho’s power struggle with Paul Pogba has been a near-constant soap opera ever since the France midfielder arrived at United for what was a world record £89million in August 2016. Pogba cut a miserable figure watching on from the bench as an unused substitute during Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at Liverpool and is privately likely to have welcomed Mourinho’s departure. Fellow Frenchman Blanc could be the man to get the former Juventus midfielder’s career back on track. An ex-United defender, Blanc is available after leaving Paris Saint-Germain in June 2016 and would surely relish the chance to step in at Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Solskjaer was a fans’ favourite during a goal-laden 11-year career at United and has enjoyed an impressive managerial career in his native Norway – guiding Molde to the Tippeligaen title in his first full season in charge and backing it up 12 months later. A move to Cardiff City failed to work out, leading to a return to Molde in October 2015. Recently signed a three-year deal at Molde but his quiet demeanour would be welcomed at Old Trafford after Mourinho’s confrontational approach.
Queiroz had two spells as assistant to Alex Ferguson – the first ending in 2003 when he was offered the chance to manage Real Madrid. He returned in 2004 and helped United to two Premier League titles and a Champions League success. Currently in charge of Iran, who compete in the Asian Cup in January, meaning an approach from United would give him a decision to make.
Former United striker Hughes’ stock has fallen in recent years after impressing initially with Wales and then Blackburn. He duly got the big job he craved at Manchester City but was sacked in December 2009. Spells at Fulham and QPR duly followed before five years at Stoke City, during which he led the club in to the Europa League. Guided Southampton away from relegation last season before being dismissed earlier this month.
Like Hughes an outsider, despite serving the club with distinction as a player. Has had a nomadic managerial career, including spells at Wigan, Sunderland and Hull. His most recent post was Aston Villa but he failed to get a talented squad promoted last season before being sacked in October. Would divide fans but his vast experience could provide a short-term fix.
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