Evaluating the 6 Candidates Who Could Replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United

​Manchester United are at one of the lowest ebbs of their modern history. There is a genuine argument that last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to a downtrodden Newcastle side was the worst performance by any Red Devils team in the Premier League era.

Although Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should not shoulder all of the blame for his side’s lowly 12th position in the Premier League, United’s shoddy run of form could see him receive his P45.

Countless candidates are already being touted to take over from the Norwegian at Old Trafford. Some seem like they could be a good fit and others, well, don’t.  

Luckily, 90min have trundled through this swamp of rumour and speculation and evaluated all of the most likely candidates for the post. So sit back and strap in United fans – it’s going to be a bumpy ride. 


Mauricio Pochettino 

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​The bookies favourite to take over from Solskjaer was one of the most popular managers in world football until a recent poor run of form made it unfashionable to sing his praises. 

​Tottenham have only won once in their last six games, with defeats to lowly Colchester United and a 7-2 mauling by ​Bayern Munich being particularly distressing. Many suggest Pochettino has done all he can at the club.

His experience at rebuilding a club, like he has done at Spurs, makes the 47-year-old a very attractive candidate, however there are doubts as to whether the messy situation at United would appeal to him. Despite his recent blip, Pochettino’s stock remains extremely high and he may want to wait for a more appealing job to become available in the future.  


Massimiliano Allegri

Massimiliano Allegri

​Six Serie A titles, four Coppas Italia and two Champions League runners-up medals. Massimiliano Allegri’s record as a manager speaks for itself. 

​Tactically versatile and a supreme motivator, Allegri got his first big managerial break at ​Milan. Whilst at San Siro, he led his side to their first Serie A title for seven years in 2011, before being hired by ​Juventus in 2014. 

He took over from the remarkably successful Antonio Conte and did not disappoint. Allegri brought a more relaxed attitude into training that continued to bear results, as evidenced by the five league titles the Old Lady would secure during his time at the club. 

It’s hard to judge how much of a success the 52-year-old would be at Old Trafford. Obviously his time at Juventus suggests he would be prepared for the intense scrutiny that comes with sitting in the Old Trafford hot seat, but he has little experience at rebuilding an unsuccessful team from scratch.


Brendan Rodgers 

Brendan Rodgers

​You know what this Manchester United team needs? Character. Character and honesty. Why not give Brendan a call? 

Jokes aside, Rodgers’ early success at ​Leicester City has made a lot of his critics reevaluate their feelings towards the man who came so close to ending Liverpool’s Premier League title drought in 2014. 

Leicester are currently playing attractive, possession-based football with a killer instinct, something Manchester United haven’t exhibited for a number of seasons. The Northern Irishman’s record of developing young players also suits him well to the position. 

Brendan Rodgers

There are a number of issues with this appointment though. By departing the King Power Stadium, Rodgers would arguably be giving up a genuine chance to get the Foxes into the Champions League this season. 

Secondly, and much more importantly, appointing an ex-​Liverpool manager perhaps is not the best way to get the United fan base back on side. Back to the drawing board on this one.  


Laurent Blanc

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Seeing as their last appointment of a former player is going so well, why not keep the theme going and offer the job to Laurent Blanc. 

Blanc spent two season at Old Trafford during the twilight of his career, bouncing back from early criticism to help the Red Devils secure the Premier League title during the 2002/03 season – the last of his long career. 

The Frenchman then moved into management after hanging up his boots. Following spells with Bordeaux and France with a move to PSG, where he won three league titles before departing the club at the end of the 2015/16 season. 

Since then, Blanc has remained out of the game but he may be tempted to return should his old club come in with an offer. 


Julian Nagelsmann 

Julian Nagelsmann

​The hippest, most daring option United should have on their shortlist, Nagelsmann would give United a distinct tactical identity and, if afforded enough time, would surely create a dynasty at the club. 

The German made a name for himself at Hoffenheim with his innovative 3-5-2 formation and eccentric fashion choices, helping Die Kraichgauer qualify for the Champions League for the first time in their history. 

He recently moved to RB Leipzig and has continued to show his talent, with his side well placed to mount a title challenge in what is an extremely tight Bundesliga this season. 

It’s perhaps too early for Nagelsmann to take over a side of United’s magnitude, but then again, why not tie down one of the most exciting young managers in the world for what is destined to be a long and painful rebuilding project?


Erik Ten Hag

Dutch Eredivisie"ADO Den Haag v Ajax Amsterdam"

Infamous for guiding Ajax into the Champions League semi-finals last season, prior to this Erike Ten Hag lived a previous life as the coach of Bayern Munich’s B team during Pep Guardiola’s time in charge of the club. 

The Spaniard’s influence is evident in how Ten Hag likes his team to play. Continuing the legacy of Johan Cruyff at Ajax, the Dutchman insists on his side being technically competent so that they can keep possession and move intelligently between the lines. 

Despite this, Ten Hag would be somewhat of a left field choice for the United job owing to his lack of experience at the highest level. 

He would however, impart an attractive attacking style on the team and give a lift to fans who have been forced to watch such drab performances for so long.

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When & Where to Watch Manchester City’s Players During the October International Break

​Despite being arguably the best team in the world, the international break may have come at the perfect time for Manchester City and Pep Guardiola.

However, for a team with so much quality in their squad, it may be surprising to hear that there are only nine of their players away on international duty. 

The players who have been called up are ready to get going for their nations over another (long) two weeks. Let’s have a look at who they are and when they take to the pitch.

All TV/live stream information relates to UK availability.


Rodrigo (Spain)

Rodri

Manchester City’s summer signing has played well since arriving in England, yet it still feels as though he has some way to go before replacing Fernandinho adequately in the heart of midfield.

However, despite starting for the Sky Blues, Rodri is yet to nail down a place in the Spanish starting XI as there is a wealth of competition for his place. With two tricky away fixtures in Norway and then Sweden, the midfielder will be hoping he gets a chance to prove himself ahead of the European Championships next year.

Game Date/Time Channel/Live Stream
Norway vs Spain Saturday 12 Oct @ 19.45 (BST) Sky Sports Football
Sweden vs Spain Tuesday 15 Oct @ 19.45 (BST) Sky Sports Premier League

Riyad Mahrez (Algeria)

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The Algeria captain has been in fine form for his club this season, and will be hoping to take that into the international break. ​Mahrez will be busier than most though, as his side have three fixtures rather than two. 

Algeria start with two friendly fixtures against DR Congo and Colombia, before they take  on Morocco in the second leg of the African Nations Championship following a 0-0 draw in the fist game.

Game Date/Time Channel/Live Stream
​Algeria vs DR Congo ​Thursday 10 Oct @ 20.45 (BST) ​Not in UK
Algeria vs Colombia Tuesday 15 Oct @ 20.00 (BST) Not in UK
Morocco vs Algeria Friday 18 Oct @ TBF (BST) Not in UK

Raheem Sterling (England)

Raheem Sterling

​Sterling has now confirmed himself as one of Manchester City and England’s best players, and continues to impress every week for club and country.

Incredibly, his team mate Kyle Walker continues to be left out of the England setup, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Aaron Wan-Bissaka seen as the future in the right-back position.

With two crucial qualifiers coming up, England will be looking to Sterling as one of the key men to help them get six points from six.

Game Date/Time Channel/Live Stream
Czech Republic vs England Friday 11 Oct @ 19.45 (BST) ITV1/ ITV Player
Bulgaria vs England Monday 14 Oct @ 19.45 (BST) ITV1/ ITV Player

Claudio Bravo (Chile)

Claudio Bravo

Despite struggling for game time at City, Bravo is still Chile’s number one in between the sticks, and is expected to start both friendly games against Colombia and Guinea. 

Game Date/Time Channel/Live Stream
Colombia vs Chile Saturday 12 Oct @ 17.00 (BST) Not in UK
Chile vs Guinea Tuesday 15 Oct @ 17.00 (BST) Not in UK

Nicolas Otamendi (Argentina)

Serge Gnabry,Nicolas Otamendi,Marcos Rojo

With Sergio Aguero being left out, Otamendi is the only City player to be called up to the Argentina squad. However, his performances for City have been calamitous at times, illustrated by their recent form.

The centre back started and picked up a yellow in his nation’s 2-2 draw with Germany on Wednesday night, and will likely feature again in their friendly against Ecuador.

Game Date/Time Channel/Live Stream
Ecuador vs Argentina Sunday 13 Oct @ 15.00 (BST) Not in UK

Oleksandr Zinchenko (Ukraine)

Oleksandr Zinchenko

Zinchenko has come under scrutiny over the last few games for his performances at left-back for ​City, but he should return to his favoured position in midfield for Ukraine during the two qualifying fixtures.

Ukraine are on fire in qualifiers, sitting at the top of their group and currently unbeaten. They take on Lithuania and then Portugal, and should they come out with two more wins from those games, then qualification will be pretty much certain.

Game Date/Time Channel/Live Stream
Ukraine vs Lithuania Friday 11 Oct @ 19.45 (BST) Sky Sports Red Button
Ukraine vs Portugal Monday 14 Oct @ 19.45 (BST) Sky Sports Premier League

Gabriel Jesus and Ederson (Brazil)

Gabriel Jesus

Although he is City’s no.1, Ederson continues to sit on the bench for Brazil behind Liverpool’s Alisson Becker. However, with Alisson injured, he is likely to start in both friendlies against Senegal and Nigeria.

​Jesus will also feature heavily, despite failing to nail down a starting place at City. For Brazil though, he is a key man, and will continue to forge a partnership with Roberto Firmino and Neymar up front. 

Game Date/Time Channel/Live Stream
Brazil vs Senegal Thursday 10 Oct @ 13.00 (BST) Not in UK
Brazil vs Nigeria Sunday 13 Oct @ 13.00 (BST) Not in UK

Bernardo Silva (Portugal)

Bernardo Silva,Marten de Roon

Joao Cancelo’s omission from the Portugal squad is surprising, but with some more game time for City, it isn’t likely to be something that lasts long.

However, Silva’s call up is no surprise, with the little magician continuing to prove himself as one of the world’s best players. He will be pivotal in his nation’s qualifying games against Luxembourg and Ukraine.

Game Date/Time Channel/Live Stream
Portugal vs Luxembourg Friday 11 Oct @ 19.45 (BST) Sky Sports Premier League
Ukraine vs Portugal Monday 14 Oct @ 19.45 (BST) Sky Sports Premier League

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Arsene Wenger Claims Bayern Munich ‘Manipulated’ Serge Gnabry into Leaving Arsenal

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has claimed that Serge Gnabry was ‘manipulated’ into leaving the Gunners by Bayern Munich, at a time when the Premier League side had been trying to renew the promising winger’s contract.

Gnabry, a player who was infamously put dow in public by Tony Pulis after a failed loan spell at West Brom, didn’t go straight to Bayern when he left Arsenal for just £5m in 2016 – but Wenger has alleged the Bundesliga giants were involved behind the scenes when it came to his exit.

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The Stuttgart-born starlet first landed at Werder Bremen, where he proved his quality at first-team level in an impressive season, and was transferred to Bayern just a year later in 2017. A loan at Hoffenheim followed, but Gnabry was brought back to Bavaria in time for last season and marked his debut campaign by scooping the club’s Player of the Season award.

Gnabry has since made a fine start to the new 2019/20 season, contributing nine combined goals and assists in all competitions, including four goals in a Champions League annihilation of Tottenham, his former north London rivals.

The 24-year-old’s tremendous rise has left Arsenal supporters wondering ‘what if?’.

Serge Gnabry

Wenger has hinted he might not have left the Emirates Stadium in different circumstances, claiming that Bayern were somehow whispering in his ear to push the player out of the door.

“We tried to extend his contract for a very long time and I think that Bayern manipulated behind the scenes, that if he went to Bremen he would join Bayern after,” Wenger told beIN SPORTS.

“He was always a very talented boy who lacked confidence in some stages, but we always thought we had a player who could achieve a lot,” the ex-Gunners boss added.

Arsene Wenger,Serge Gnabry

Wenger admitted that Gnabry’s time at West Brom, where he appeared only once in the Premier League, had been a ‘very bad experience’, but insisted that he ‘believed’ in the player.


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Pep Guardiola Claims Phil Foden Is Worth More Than £450m to Manchester City

​Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has heaped praise on young attacker Phil Foden once again, saying no amount of money would convince him to sell the teenager – even the equivalent of £450m.

The 19-year-old is yet to start a Premier League game for the Sky Blues in 2019/20, making a total of four appearances in all competitions. Nevertheless, he is held in high regard by both his coach and the club’s hierarchy, with the England Under-21 international earmarked as the long-term successor to David Silva once the Spaniard leaves next summer.

Pep Guardiola

Foden struck his first goal of the campaign as ​City downed Dinamo Zagreb 2-0 in early October, his stoppage time arrow sealing a second straight ​Champions League victory for the Cityzens.

Speaking to the ​Sun about the youngster’s situation at the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola stated: “We didn’t give Foden a new contract by accident. He is the only player that can’t be sold under any circumstances – the only one. Not even for €500m.

Phil is going nowhere – Phil is City. We won’t be signing anyone else for that position. When David Silva leaves, we know exactly who our new magician will be. He’s grown up with us. He’s one of us and he is going to be brilliant – one of the ​Premier League’s best.

It’s better to take things slowly,” Guardiola explained. “One thing is clear: Foden has a place in City’s first team. I’d be interested to see if a different manager would have given him his chance to develop, or loaned him out.

Phil Foden

“I don’t like leaving him out of certain games, but I must think of the whole squad. Phil understands that.”

The Catalan has allowed fellow academy starlets Jadon Sancho and Brahim Diaz to leave Manchester in recent years, the former joining ​Borussia Dortmund in 2017, before his counterpart switched to ​Real Madrid in January last season.

However, he chose to fast-track Foden into the senior setup, affording the playmaker time to continue his development and adapt to the demands of elite-level football.


For more from Ed Alexander, follow him on Twitter!

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Arsenal Want to Keep Dani Ceballos But Face Challenges in Securing Signing

Arsenal are looking to keep Dani Ceballos beyond his current loan spell, with many fans viewing him as one of the signings of the summer.

The Gunners finally got the technical midfield player they so desperately needed, and the Spain international has looked right at home at the Emirates Stadium.

Ceballos has been on record saying he does not regret leaving Real Madrid, with Unai Emery using him in all eight Premier League games so far, ultimately leading to a spot in the latest national team squad.

Dani Ceballos

Despite his loan move not including an option to buy, ​El Confidential are reporting that ​Arsenal are looking to keep Ceballos beyond this season regardless.

The Spanish outlet claim that ​Arsenal representatives have discussed ways to extend the 23-year-old’s stay, with the likely outcome being another loan move due to the astronomical fee that ​Real Madrid are likely to demand.

​Chelsea had to fork out £40.3m in order to make ​Mateo Kovacic’s loan switch permanent in the summer, a fee that would make Ceballos the fourth most expensive player in Arsenal’s history.

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However, Ceballos has admitted that life under Zinedine Zidane was not enjoyable, having only played a bit-part role for Los Blancos.

 “Going to Arsenal has been a very important step in my career,” he told reporters, as quoted by the ​Metro. “I don’t feel sorry for not being in Madrid. Right now I am where I want to be and I am very happy. My idea was to go out, play and enjoy football. In the previous two years I had not done so. 

“My goal is only to work to keep doing things right. I have eight months left at Arsenal, I can only thank them for the confidence that the coach and fans have placed in me, who have already made me a song. I am very happy there and I hope to continue for a long time.”

With ​Mesut Ozil falling out-of-favour with Unai Emery, Ceballos currently looks like Arsenal’s only creative option in the middle, and making his move permanent would be a step in the right direction for the Gunners.

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