Manchester United could make a surprise move for up-and-coming Sporting CP coach Ruben Amorim, as they plan for a long-term successor to Ole Gunnar Solskajer.
Ralph Rangnick’s appointment as interim coach is expected in the coming days and the club could show a desire for continuity by looking for a long-term solution who aligns with the German’s high-pressing principles.
The Telegraph today reports that PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino and Ajax’s Erik Ten Hag remain under consideration, although the highly-rated Amorim is also in contention for the role.
The 36-year-old guided Sporting to their first title in 19 years at the end of his first season and also led the unfancied Portuguese outfit through a potentially tricky Champions League group.
Sporting completed one of the shocks of the round this week as they beat Borussia Dortmund 3-1 at the José Alvalade Stadium, dumping the well-regarded Germans out of the tournament in the process.
Amorim is a former Portugal international who is widely-regarded as one of the brightest young managerial minds in the European game.
After guiding Sporting to a league and cup double in his debut season, he’s continued that upward trajectory with an unbeaten start to the current domestic campaign.
However, the Portuguese’s services will not come cheaply. Sporting have looked to ring fence the future of their young coach by inserting a 20 million euro (£17m) buy-out clause in his contract.
Amorim himself weighed into the debate about the Red Devils’ future plans this week by declaring that the club should look to appoint the impressive Ten Hag as their permanent manager.
He said, “If I may, I think Manchester United should sign Ten Hag this week. Now that would be something that would make me quite happy.”
Amorim has first-hand experience of the Dutchman’s excellence – his Sporting side were hammered 5-1 at home by Ajax during a CL group match in September.
Following weeks of uncertainty and speculation this appears to have been an unusually decisive week in the recent history of the ailing Old Trafford giant.
Fans are already excited about the imminent arrival of Rangnick and are eagerly anticipating a much-needed revamp of a side that had looked short of ideas and lacking identity during Solskjaer’s final weeks.
Their appetite for wholesale change will be partly sated by the recent links with some of the most promising coaches in the European game.
It finally feels as if the Reds’ hierarchy is as intent upon creating a football institution as it has been a financial and commercial one. Supporters will be hoping that the overdue return to greatness starts here.