Manchester United sack Ole Gunnar after Watford defeat
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Manchester United have today confirmed that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign in charge of the club has come to an end. The Norwegian has been sacked in the wake of their 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Watford on Saturday. And while Michael Carrick will take charge on an interim basis, the Red Devils will now fix their sights on hiring a new, permanent boss.
United released a statement today that read: “Manchester United announces that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has left his role as Manager.
“Ole will always be a legend at Manchester United and it is with regret that we have reached this difficult decision.
“While the past few weeks have been disappointing, they should not obscure all the work he has done over the past three years to rebuild the foundations for long-term success.
“Ole leaves with our sincerest thanks for his tireless efforts as Manager and our very best wishes for the future.
“His place in the club’s history will always be secure, not just for his story as a player, but as a great man and a Manager who gave us many great moments.
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“He will forever be welcome back at Old Trafford as part of the Manchester United family.
“Michael Carrick will now take charge of the team for forthcoming games, while the club looks to appoint an interim Manager to the end of the season.”
United want somebody to see out the campaign.
But, behind the scenes, the Glazers, Ed Woodward and other board members are looking ahead to the future.
So Express Sport will now take a look at who should feature on their shortlist of possible replacements.
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Linked in the past 24 hours, Laurent Blanc has previously achieved success with Paris Saint-Germain.
He spent two years at United under Sir Alex Ferguson, helping them win the Premier League title in 2003.
And while he’s currently working in the Middle East, Blanc could be tempted into returning to Old Trafford.
Like Blanc, Julen Lopetegui is another name in the frame.
While his time at Real Madrid didn’t work out, the Spaniard has done well with Sevilla – helping them win the Europa League in 2020.
A left-field choice, Lopetegui would bring order to United but whether he’s got the credentials for such a big job is debatable – especially given how his time with Real Madrid worked out.
Luis Enrique is currently in charge of the Spain national team.
He’s unlikely to leave that role before the World Cup in Qatar next week but his name was mooted earlier in the week.
Enrique did spectacularly at Barcelona, helping them win the treble in 2015, while he’s also managed Roma in the past.
Currently available, links to Zinedine Zidane have been gaining credence.
He won the lot during his two spells at Real Madrid, including three Champions League trophies on the trot between 2016 and 2018.
Yet while Zidane would be a Galactico appointment, his lack of Premier League experience could count against him.
Brendan Rodgers recently insisted he was happy at Leicester amid links to the United job.
But the Northern-Irishman’s history suggests he’d be tempted, having pressed the upgrade button in the past.
Rodgers previously left Celtic for Leicester because it was a step up and, though he had a spell at Liverpool, he’s still another name in the frame.
Mauricio Pochettino has been linked with the United job for several years, now.
And though he’s managing Paris Saint-Germain in France, a return to the Premier League appeals to the Argentine.
United will feasibly go after Pochettino in the summer, especially after courting him for so long.
Erik ten Hag
Another possible option for United is Ajax boss Erik ten Hag.
He’s won two Eredivisie titles during his time at Amsterdam and, with limited resources, has made them a team to fear in the Champions League as well.
United would represent a big step up but Ten Hag has admirers at board level for all of his work over in the Netherlands.
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