Manchester United are reported to have identified Spain coach Luis Enrique as a leading candidate to succeed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
A run of just 1 win in 6 games, with 4 of those defeats, had put the Norwegian’s position under intense scrutiny. Yesterday’s capitulation at relegation-threatened Watford proved to be the final straw for the United board.
Sky Sports believes Enrique is among the front runners to take the reins at the ailing giant. They also say that, “the former Barcelona manager would be interested in talking to officials about the vacancy at Old Trafford”.
It’s also claimed that hiring the former Barca man would win approval from Cristiano Ronaldo, “who thinks the Spaniard is the right calibre of coach to enable United to compete with Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.”
The report goes on to claim that United’s decision-makers are considering a host of other managerial names as they look to stumble upon a hitherto elusive winning formula.
Among the names being discussed are former Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane, Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers, highly-rated Ajax coach Erik Ten Hag and PSG’s Mauricio Pochettino.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s sentiments were echoed by Sky’s Rob Dorsett, who tweeted: ‘Cristiano Ronaldo is keen for Luis Enrique to become the new Manchester United manager, I’m told.
‘The Spain boss is likely to be considered for the role, along with out-of-work Zinedine Zidane and Erik Ten Hag, the Ajax manager. Pochettino and Brendan Rodgers are long shots currently.’
Cristiano Ronaldo is keen for Luis Enrique to become the new #mufc manager, I’m told. The Spain boss likely to be considered for the role along with out-of-work Zinedine Zidane and Erik Ten Hag, the #ajax manager. Pochettino and Brendan Rodgers are long shots currently. See #ssn
— Rob Dorsett (@RobDorsettSky) November 21, 2021
Shortly after Dorset and Sky had broken the Enrique story it had been laughed off by the man himself, who denied having any interest in the position.
As tweeted by ubiquitous transfer guru Fabrizio Romano: ‘Luis Enrique on Manchester United links: “Is today April Fools’ Day?”, he said to La Sexta.
‘Luis Enrique is absolutely not planning to leave Spain right now, and he’s understood to be ‘so happy’ with his current job.’
Luis Enrique on Manchester United links: “Is today April Fools' Day?”, he said to La Sexta. 🔴🇪🇸 #MUFC
Luis Enrique is absolutely not planning to leave Spain right now, and he’s understood to be ‘so happy’ with his current job.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 21, 2021
While Enrique would appear to be the right calibre of manager, it would take a major offer to convince him to abandon his country a matter of months ahead of a World Cup.
Although there are sure to be plenty more twists and turns before a permanent appointment is made, the current likeliest outcome appears to be an interim hire to see out the season.