Manchester United have sacked manager, Jose Mourinho, after making their worst ever start to a Premier League campaign. It seems the weekend’s 3-1 defeat at bitter rivals, Liverpool, was the final straw for the Old Trafford hierarchy and the search begins for Mourinho’s replacement.
A club statement has confirmed that the Red Devils hope to have a replacement announced within 48 hours, however, the new manager is expected to take charge on a temporary basis until the end of the season before a more permanent manager is brought in.
It is believed that Manchester United intend on recruiting a caretaker manager with a previous affiliation with the club. The new manager’s profile will ideally be someone with great experience at both Manchester United and within the Premier League.
Norwegian, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, has been installed as the bookies’ favourite to take over as interim manager. Solskjaer is just 15/8 with Sky Bet. Solskjaer played over 200 times for Manchester United during an 11-year spell so certainly fits the bill.
However, Solskjaer’s appointment could be met with some reservations given his disappointing spell in charge of Cardiff City. Solskjaer took over at Cardiff at a similar stage of the 2013/14 Premier League season but failed to save the Bluebirds from relegation. He was then sacked less than two months into the new season after a disastrous start to life in the Championship.
Solskjaer is the current manager of Molde back in his homeland. Although the lure of his former club may prove too good to turn down, Solskjaer may seek some reassurances about his future at Old Trafford beyond the end of the current season.
Who else is in the frame?
Another manager gaining support in the betting market to become temporary Manchester United manager is Solskjaer’s former United team mate, Laurent Blanc. As well as his previous tenure as France boss, Blanc has vast experience managing at club level with both Bordeaux and Paris Saint Germain.
As a player, Blanc played 48 times for Manchester United between 2001 and 2003 when Sir Alex Ferguson drafted him in a short-term replacement for the departed Jaap Stam.
Until an appointment is made, Michael Carrick will take charge of training and will potentially oversee Saturday’s trip to Cardiff City. Carrick is thought to be under consideration to retain control until the end of the season and is currently a 4/1 shot.
It is believed that United’s decision to appoint an interim manager indicates their desire to appoint a Director of Football before making a decision on their next long-term appointment. However, there are very few names in the frame for the long-term role that are being backed to step in immediately. Many expect United to approach Spurs for their manager, Mauricio Pochettino, but it is unlikely that he’d make the move mid-season. Another name mooted as a long-term successor for Mourinho is for Real Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane.
Zidane is currently out of work and has an excellent record, winning three successive Champions League titles at Real Madrid. The concern with Zidane is his relative inexperience in the transfer market given the stability of the squad he oversaw at Madrid and the major rebuilding job required at Manchester United. If Zizou is brought in to Old Trafford, he is more likely to come in under Director of Football in the summer.
Next Manchester United Manager odds (courtesy of Sky Bet)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - 15/8
Laurent Blanc - 5/2
Michael Carrick - 4/1
Zinedine Zidane - 4/1
Mauricio Pochettino - 14/1
Arsene Wenger - 16/1
Antonio Conte - 16/1
Carlos Queiroz - 20/1
Nicky Butt - 25/1
Ryan Giggs - 25/1
Eddie Howe - 25/1
Guus Hiddink - 25/1
What next for Mourinho?
The three-year itch has come back to haunt Mourinho once again. Whilst you cannot doubt his excellent record of delivering trophies, he hasn’t survived three full seasons in any of his previous managerial roles at Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan or Real Madrid.
His reputation will have taken a hit by a disastrous third season at Old Trafford but he is expected to be back in management sooner rather than later. Sky Bet are linking him to some of the biggest jobs in European football, including a potential return to either Real Madrid or Inter Milan. Below you can find the latest odds on the Special One’s next destination.
Jose Mourinho’s Next Managerial Role
Real Madrid - 4/1
Any Chinese Super League club - 5/1
Bayern Munich - 6/1
Portugal national team - 6/1
Inter Milan - 8/1
Juventus - 8/1
Paris Saint Germain - 8/1
AC Milan - 10/1
No Club or Country by 1st August 2020 - 10/1