Manchester United have seemingly begun looking out for a permanent manager to take over the club in the summer with reports suggesting the United hierarchy have already drawn out a shortlist of candidates suited for the role. The development comes with The Athletic reporting on Monday that the Red Devils have already begun the process of holding early conversations with the shortlist of candidates.
While current interim manager, Ralf Rangnick, has previously stated his consideration for the permanent role, it is understood the German is more likely to step down and take an advisory role at the club from next season. Amongst the candidates for the long-term managerial position, Mauricio Pochettino and Erik Ten Hag are said to be frontrunners for the role, according to the Manchester Evening News, with the likes of Graham Potter, Julian Nagelsmann, and Brendan Rodgers too, expected to be thrown into the mix.
A top-four finish will certainly play a significant role in recruitment over the summer and United will be hoping to finalise their candidate before the pre-season tour kicks off. Although brave decisions remain to be taken following the end of the current campaign, the Red Devils will be keen on a seamless transition into the following season having endured a challenging spell this time around.
Erik Ten Hag (Current Club: Ajax)
Erik ten Hag is increasingly growing as the fan-favourite for the role. The Dutch manager has emerged as a front runner among multiple candidates to take over at Manchester United following a series of impressive seasons with Ajax.
He took the Dutch giants to a spellbinding UEFA Champions League semi-final in 2019, before winning the Eredivisie title the same season. That was followed by another impressive league title in 2021. This has made Ten Hag one of the hottest managerial prospects in Europe in recent seasons.
With a philosophy akin to United’s tradition of attacking football and integrating academy prospects, the Dutchman emerges as a candidate capable of returning the glory days to Old Trafford. Coming to have spent five seasons at Ajax at the end of the current campaign, Ten Hag is expected to take the big step moving to a relatively storied European club ahead of next season.
Although concerns vis-à-vis to his experience and uncertainty are likely to create a doubt in the minds of United’s commercialised boardroom, Erik ten Hag is likely to remain a foremost candidate for the job over the next few months. Having taken unproductive decisions since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, the club’s agonising hierarchy will be keen on hitting the mark with their managerial recruitment before the beginning of next season.
Mauricio Pochettino (Current Club: Paris-Saint Germain)
Amongst the favourites for the permanent role at United following his impressive tenure with Tottenham Hotspur, the Argentinian could finally land at Old Trafford this summer. With reports suggesting that Pochettino remains the team’s preferred choice for manager amidst the Manchester United hierarchy’s admiration towards his coaching methods, the Argentinian has emerged as one of the strongest candidates for the role.
While Mauricio Pochettino is yet to land a revered domestic trophy in his managerial career, the Argentinian emerges as a figure capable of subscribing to the board’s authority whilst also having a say in recruitment and integrating academy players into the first-team squad. Although said to be a frontrunner for the role, the Argentine is likely to be secondary to Erik Ten Hag in consideration.
Despite boasting Premier League experience, the Argentinian has failed to kick on in his career since facing the sack at Spurs. However, a career-reviving opportunity at Manchester United could certainly provide the platform to achieve major honours, with both the Pochettino and United keen on regaining their reverence in European football.
Graham Potter (Current Club: Brighton & Hove Albion)
Housing substantial potential, Graham Potter emerges as a figure ready to take the next step in his managerial career. Having significantly improved and influenced the prospects and overall philosophy of his current club, the Englishman will be hoping to consider a career-changing opportunity over the coming summers.
Although an outside candidate for the permanent role at United, Potter’s name is likely to spring up during conversations in the boardroom. Expected to be one of only two potential candidates currently employed at Premier League clubs, Potter is unlikely to find himself at Old Trafford before the start of next season.
Brendan Rodgers (Current Club: Leicester City)
Having been demoted from being a frontrunner for the job following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking in November last year, Brendan Rodgers is expected to remain at his current club following a rough spell of results in recent months. Although likely to be included in the shortlist of candidates for the position at Manchester United, the Irish manager is unlikely to be given the nod by the United boardroom.
While his previous stint with Liverpool is likely to emerge as a major factor in his chances at securing the permanent managerial role at United, Rodgers’ recent inconsistency too, is likely to impede his prospects at moving to a bigger club this summer. Although having won and come close to winning major domestic honours during his managerial career, Rodgers is likely to be considered as a tertiary option in the recruitment process.
Julian Nagelsmann (Current Club: Bayern Munich)
Although a fantastical name at the time of writing, Julian Nagelsmann is likely to remain at Bayern Munich. However, a speculative tension with the club could potentially drive him to move clubs this summer. Nagelsmann is growing increasingly frustrated with the club’s transfer policy and the lack of new signings.
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Having already impressed since his managerial days at RB Leipzig, the German manager could also emerge as one of the foremost candidates to take over at Manchester United, considering his availability and Rangnick’s admiration towards his fellow countrymen.
Although unlikely to find himself at Old Trafford ahead of next season, the German is likely to be considered for the role in the boardroom. However, given his potential and contract, Nagelsmann is unlikely to leave the Allianz Arena at the end of the season.
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