For now, Manchester United continue to insist Ole Gunnar Solskjaer won’t be sacked. However, defeat at Watford after the international break could see the sun go down on the Norwegian’s time in charge at Old Trafford. So, given they hired an old boy to replace Jose Mourinho in December 2018, Express Sport will now take a look at four people associated with the Red Devils who could take over on an interim basis.
Laurent Blanc spent two years at United during his playing days, helping the club win the Premier League title in 2003.
And he’s since had a good career in management, his time with the France national team aside.
Blanc did well at Bordeaux and Paris Saint-Germain, winning four Ligue 1 titles across those stints.
He’s currently managing Al-Rayyan, having taken over in December last year following a four-year break.
But Blanc, as somebody who knows United and who has experience of winning trophies as a manager, is somebody worthy of consideration.
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Carlos Queiroz was a good asset for United during his two stints as a coach.
He helped the club win the title in 2003, with Blanc at his disposal, before leaving for Real Madrid.
However, after he flopped at the Bernabeu, the 68-year-old returned to help United win titles galore under Sir Alex Ferguson as well as the Champions League in 2008.
In the time since, Quieroz has done well at Iran and, though his time as Colombia manager didn’t work out, he’s done well with Egypt by winning his first three matches.
Therefore, United should certainly have him in mind to steady the ship on an interim basis.
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It would certainly be a surprise.
But ESPN recently said that Darren Fletcher could replace Solskjaer temporarily, having returned to the club as technical director last year.
Fletcher has even less experience than Solskjaer.
Yet that doesn’t mean he should be written off. Sometimes, the best coaches come out of nowhere – just like Pep Guardiola at Barcelona back in 2008.
Fletcher wouldn’t exactly be an exciting appointment but, as somebody who knows United, could be the right man merely steady the ship.
Imagine. Just imagine.
If United’s hierarchy feel they need a good kick up the backside, then Roy Keane would surely be the right person to deliver said kickings.
Of course, we’re speculating here. There’s nothing to suggest Keane would even want the job.
But he did well at Sunderland years ago and, as somebody who knows the Red Devils inside out, would be a wise way to go.
Either him, or Gary Neville. But after the latter’s experience at Valencia, he may not necessarily be a Solskjaer upgrade.
Rio calls for Solskjaer to go
Rio Ferdinand has spoken out on Solskjaer, admitting now may be the best time for his former team-mate to leave.
“You need the foundations that have been built to fall back on when you are lacking that confidence,” he said.
“When you’re thinking a five, a 10-yard ball that is normally easy becomes a difficult ball – the foundations get you through that. We (United) ain’t got that.
“The football club will be living here and breathing here longer than any individual. It’s what’s best for this football club.
“I just feel that maybe it might be time now for the baton to be handed over.
“Who can take us on now? And I think Ole would leave now with his head held high.”