Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Five managers who could replace the under-fire Manchester United manager

4 Nov

Manchester United’s revival, of sorts, came to an end on Saturday as they were beaten 1-0 by Bournemouth.

The result leaves Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men 10th in the Premier League and, incredibly, already 18 points behind arch-rivals Liverpool at the top.

Solskjaer’s side were beaten 1-0 by Bournemouth at the weekend
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Things started off so well for the Norwegian during his interim spell in charge, losing just one of his first 17 games at the helm and recording a win percentage of 82.35 per cent.

Since taking over as permanent boss on March 28, United have won just eight of their 26 games in all competitions – leaving him a win percentage of just 31 per cent.

This time last month Solskjaer had also overseen the club’s worst to a season for 30 years, leaving question marks over his long-term future at United.

talkSPORT.com has looked at the possible replacements to take over at Old Trafford if Solskjaer is given the chop.

Manchester United's record during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's permanent reign

Games: 26

Wins: 8

Draws: 8

Defeats: 10

Goals scored: 25

Goals conceded: 31

Goal difference: -6

Biggest win: Manchester United 4-0 Chelsea, August 2019

Heaviest defeat: Everton 4-0 Manchester United, April 2019

Win percentage: 31 per cent

Mauricio Pochettino

The Tottenham boss has been heavily linked with the post for a prolonged period.

He has proved in north London that he can develop a young team on a relatively modest budget and turn them into Champions League finalists.

This season has proved to be a real struggle for the Argentinian so far, who has publicly expressed his frustration at the club’s transfer policy and politics behind the scenes.

Pochettino, right, would certainly be tempted by a move to Manchester United
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Despite that, Pochettino only suggested last month he could end up spending another five years at Tottenham after intense speculation about his future.

However, the potential opportunity to take over one of the world’s biggest clubs – with a transfer war chest at his disposal – could ultimately prove too big to turn down.

Pochettino, has though, already proved his loyalty to Spurs by turning down the Real Madrid job last summer, so a deal to take him to Manchester would be far from straight forward.

Brendan Rodgers

The former Liverpool boss has done an outstanding job at Leicester, turning them into genuine top-four Premier League contenders.

Only Liverpool and Manchester City are ahead of the Foxes in the table after 11 games of the 2019/20 season.

Widely recognised for his fluent, progressive style of football, as well as developing young talent, Rodgers has established himself as one of the best managers in England top’s flight.

While he enjoyed a very productive spell at Liverpool, the near-miss with the title in 2014 was a defining moment in his Anfield career.

There is a real sense that Rodgers is building something very special at the King Power Stadium
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He has come back bigger and better from that experience though, with a trophy-laden stint at Celtic putting an end to uncertainty over his winning credentials.

There’s no doubt he’s now in pole position to land one of the big jobs in the Premier League, if and when they become available.

However, the Northern Irishman is in absolutely no rush to walk away from the King Power Stadium anytime soon.

With his obvious connection to one of United’s rivals – with whom he still holds a good rapport – it would take something huge for him to abandon ship at Leicester.

Massimiliano Allegri

While he is unattached at present, the Italian remains one of the most highly rated coaches in Europe.

Allegri, 52, won a vast array of trophies at Juventus prior to his departure in the summer – leading them to five consecutive Serie A titles to add to the one he achieved at AC Milan.

5. Max Allegri (Juventus manager): 9 trophies
There is no question about Allegri’s credentials

He has previously been linked with the United and Arsenal job, and would certainly be the cheaper option in comparison to his other rivals.

The question marks over Allegri would be that he has a lack of experience outside of Italy and despite leading Juve to two Champions League finals he has no winners’ medal to his name.

With that said, out of all the candidates listed here, he’s one of the most realistic – with the daunting challenge at United not one that would phase him.

Ralf Rangnick

The former RB Leipzig boss emerged as a surprise candidate to take over at United last month.

German media outlet Sport Bild recently claimed the Red Devils are big admirers of the 61-year-old.

Rangnick is not short of interested suitors though. Bayern are reportedly very keen to speak with him, after they sacked Niko Kovac on Sunday.

In 2018/19, Rangnick guided Leipzig to a third place Bundesliga finish and to runners-up in the DFB-Pokal

Rangnick, who is currently head of sport and development at Red Bull, would reportedly prefer to work in the Premier League.

He is one of very few genuine options to take over at Old Trafford, with his reputation for transforming clubs with a primary focus on player development something that would hugely appeal to United’s hierarchy.

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Ragnick refused to rule out a move to the Red Devils in the future.

“I am happy where I am but if any club wanted to speak to me, the question would have to be: ‘Can I be somebody who can influence areas of development across the whole club?’

“Otherwise you are only getting half of what I am capable of.

“If, after that, you can work together in a trustworthy and respectful way, then you are more likely to be successful.”

Erik ten Hag

This is probably the longest shot on the list as things stand, with the Dutchman reportedly not available until the end of the 2019/20 campaign.

The 49-year-old, who is currently under contract at the Johan Cruyff Arena until 2022, is Bayern’s top target following Kovac’s sacking, according to Sky in Germany.

There is little surprise that Ten Hag is in such high demand, winning the Eredivisie, the Dutch Super Cup and KNVB Cup since taking over as Ajax boss in 2017.

Erik ten Hag has been a huge success at Ajax
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He also led the European giants to the semi-finals of the Champions League last season.

Ajax remain undefeated in the league so far this season under Ten Hag’s stewardship, six points clear at the top of the Eredivisie after ten wins and two draws.

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