Speculation grows around the potential sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and it’s not for the first time this season. A number of names have been linked to the job but one that stands out, since Antonio Conte went to Spurs, is Ajax’s Erik Ten Hag.
Further reports suggest that Manchester United have reached an agreement with Brendan Rogers but in both cases it is rumoured that the manager does not want to leave his current club until the end of the season.
So if either of those options were to only become available at that stage, who could takeover in the interim?
A number of names for caretaker manager have been thrown around and we have a couple of wildcard suggestions too.
Of course the obvious choice would be to promote from within and one name that springs to mind is ex-United midfielder Darren Fletcher.
Fletcher helped United to five Premier League titles in his twenty-year career as a player at the club and is now the technical director after a short stint as manager of the under-16’s.
He knows the values of the club, the current targets and the squad.
He’s not the only former United player in the running though. Michael Carrick, who is a current coach with the first team, is also rumoured to be in line for caretaker manager.
However this seems unlikely since recent reports have suggested that he too has lost his rapport with the players.
Ryan Giggs has had the arduous task of interim manager at United before, after the sacking of David Moyes who he was a player-coach under. Giggs took charge for four games, winning two, drawing one and losing one.
After United appointed Mourinho, Giggs left and later took charge of Wales. However, his legal battles forced him to leave the role. Could Giggs make a comeback at the Theatre of Dreams?
There’s an array of ex-players queuing up to be caretaker manager at United, even current players have been floating round social media as potential suitors – the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo for example, who would appear to command a great deal of respect from the squad.
Former captain Steve Bruce could be an obvious choice with his wealth of Premier League management experience. Similarly, legend Mark Hughes is out of work and could offer a high level of know-how.
If we’re talking about ex-players, one name that hasn’t been mentioned that perhaps could be an interesting choice is Paul Scholes.
Scholes does have some limited managerial experience after short stints at Oldham and Salford but he has nowhere near the scale of experience needed at Manchester United. He also has previously stated in a 2016 interview that he doesn’t have any aspirations to become the next Alex Ferguson.
This is probably a very fanciful option, so if we’re being serious, who outside of the club could take United on? Recently there has been something in the water in the Premier League as a sacking spree has taken place. Dean Smith and Daniel Farke are both out of jobs, as is Nuno Espirito Santo.
Also, as The MEN points out, ‘Ralf Rangnick could emerge as a short-term solution, having previously been linked with a technical director at Old Trafford.’
He’s held talks with the United board previously and might be available to take the reins until the end of the season, although he is currently head of football development at Lokomotiv Moscow.’
But we believe that one of the ‘United DNA’ options is more likely.
For now though, Ole remains at the wheel but there are plenty of options waiting in the wings should he bow out over the international break.