McManaman dismisses favourites and tips familiar face for Man Utd job

Date published: Wednesday 10th November 2021 10:50 - Neil Foster

Brendan Rodgers, Mauricio Pochettino after Liverpool v Tottenham in the Premier League

Former Liverpool star Steve McManaman doubts whether either Brendan Rodgers or Zinedine Zidane will replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United manager and has his own ideas as to who might get the job.

Solskjaer, 48, will celebrate his third anniversary as Red Devils boss on December 19. However, there is a groundswell of opinion that the Norwegian might not make it to his 36-month party. A dismal run of results and performance has seen pressure increase on the former Cardiff City chief.

Opinion varies widely across the footballing world as to how long he has left at the helm if things do not improve. But it appears as though the former United striker does have support at board level to plead his case – for now.

Unsurprisingly, a few names have been put forward as potential replacements should the Old Trafford hierarchy act. And it was reported on Sunday that Rodgers has already verbally agreed to take over when the post becomes available.

Zidane has also been mentioned in connection with United’s top job. The Frenchman is currently out of work and enjoying a rest after leaving Real Madrid last summer.

In total, the France World Cup winner was in charge of Los Blancos for 263 games across two spells. He won plenty of silverware at the Bernabeu, securing two LaLiga titles.


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And the ex-Juventus star also claimed the Champions League in three successive seasons. He would bring a wealth of experience to the Theatre of Dreams and reports last month suggested he was keen.

However, those rumours have now cooled as ZZ apparently has his sights set elsewhere for his next managerial position. Attention is therefore focused on Leicester City chief Rodgers.

But McManaman feels part of the Northern Irishman’s past will prevent him taking the job.

“I can’t see Brendan going there,” he told Horseracing.net, per MEN. “I think he’s got the credentials, yes, but I think his history with Liverpool would be too much for everybody.”

McManaman looks to France for United saviour

Zidane is second favourite to replace Solskjaer. However, McManaman has no confidence that it will ever happen.

“I haven’t spoken to Zizou in a while but I don’t think he speaks English and I don’t know whether it’s a job that would appeal to him,” he added. “He leads a lovely lifestyle in Madrid and uprooting and coming to Manchester would be a big ask for him and his family.”

McManaman retired from playing in 2005 but is still a keen observer of the English game via his various media roles. The United saga currently dominates the back pages.

And the former England forward has backed a manager well known to English fans to take the job.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if Manchester United went back and got Mauricio Pochettino,” he continued. “Anyone who works at Paris Saint-Germain for a couple of years has normally had enough of it.

“And Poch would probably be the man because of his knowledge and experience of England and the Premier League.”

READ MORE: ‘They don’t care’; Pundit looks beyond Solskjaer for Man Utd woes

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