Brendan Rodgers has played down rumours he might be the next permanent Manchester United manager while his Leicester players have laughed it off.
The Old Trafford hotseat is up for grabs after the dismissal of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Norwegian paid the price for a disastrous run of results and series of underwhelming performances. The rumours mill has already begun to turn over who might be the next boss.
Michael Carrick is in temporary charge while Ernesto Valverde has held talks over taking the reins until May. But it is a long-term fix that the club need after successive managers have failed to shine following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho have all come and gone. Solskjaer has now joined them as ex-United managers.
The Foxes chief has experience of managing one of the big six, with three years as Liverpool boss. His stock rose even higher during a successful spell at Celtic while he has elevated Leicester to a new level.
United would be a huge leap and a prestigious club to have on his CV. But the Northern Irishman has now put the rumours to bed.
“It’s not real. There’s always gossip and that will be there until they appoint a full-time manager,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “My commitment is to here. The culture here is about the development of the players and that’s where I see it, even more so in this period.
“I respect you guys have questions to ask, but that doesn’t include me.”
Rodgers backed as players circle the wagons
Having guided the East Midlanders to back-to-back fifth-place finishes, Rodgers’ star has waned slightly this term. The King Power outfit have not hit the expected heights and find themselves 12th in the table.
Leicester fans have taken to booing at times this season. But Rodgers feels it is vital the club sticks together.
“The King Power Stadium is a really difficult place to play when there is the synergy between the fans and players,” he added.
“Bring that incredible passion and support to help the team, and we need that, because we need to win to jump up the table. We need them – and for us, rather than against us.”
The Foxes players are all behind their manager. Forward Ayoze Perez insists nobody in the dressing room believed the rumours.
“We are not even thinking about that possibility (Rodgers leaving). What he has shown us, he is totally focused on where we can improve,” he said, per The Mirror. “We are not thinking about anything else, not him either. We are really focused here.”