Man Utd to go in-house for interim manager as star’s agent demands assurances over Solskjaer sack
Manchester United are reportedly ready to sack beleaguered boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with a former midfielder poised to take temporary charge at Old Trafford.
The Manchester Evening News claims that club executives decided they must act now in the wake of the humiliating 4-1 defeat at Watford on Saturday. To that end, technical director Darren Fletcher could be in charge as soon as Tuesday’s penultimate Champions League group game at Villarreal. Fletcher is expected to be assisted by Michael Carrick.
MEN have been told that United will sack Solskjaer and that that the club are finalising the Norwegian’s compensation package of around £7.75million.
The Red Devils have so far downplayed talk of Zinedine Zidane taking over from the Norwegian. It’s believed that those links are being used to keep an increasingly frustrated Cristiano Ronaldo happy.
It is understood Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, wanted assurances that decisive action at managerial level would take place shortly after the Watford debacle.
Ronaldo played under Zidane at Real Madrid when they won three successive Champions Leagues between 2016 and 2018. Both left the club in the same summer.
Fletcher was in the United dugout for Saturday’s game at Vicarage Road, having previously observed matches from the directors’ box.
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The timing of Solskjaer’s expected removal will also raise further questions about the running of United by the club’s owners.
United resisted sacking Solskjaer in the wake of the 5-0 drubbing by Liverpool on October 24. At that time they had a six-day gap until their next match at Tottenham, which they ultimately won, although another defeat to Manchester City soon followed.
The Red Devils also decided against dismissing Solskjaer during the November international fortnight. That is traditionally a popular time for clubs to change managers.
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Time for change as trio lined-up
The MEN revealed this week that the club’s hierarchy had decided it was time for a change. That is despite the fact that Solskjaer only signed a new three-year contract in July.
Solskjaer apologised to the United supporters at full-time at Vicarage Road but many loudly and specifically booed him.
United, seventh in the table, have conceded 15 goals in their last four defeats to Watford, Manchester City, Liverpool, and Leicester. The 5-0 trouncing by Liverpool was their worst-ever home defeat to their biggest rivals.
Outgoing executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward nor any members of the Glazer family, who own the club, were in attendance at Watford. Managing director Richard Arnold, who could take over from Woodward, was also not present.
In terms of who could take over as the new permanent boss, three names are mentioned.
Brendan Rodgers is said to be their preferred candidate. However, Leicester have taken 15 points from 12 games in the league this term.
Rodgers is under contract at Leicester until June 2023. But he said prior to Saturday’s loss to Chelsea that he was more than happy at the King Power.
United figures are also impressed by Ajax coach Erik Ten Hag and Spain coach Luis Enrique. However, the fact that Rodgers has significant Premier League experience gives him the nod over the other two.
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