The next permanent manager of Manchester United has been a hotly-debated topic ever since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked in November.
The Norwegian was replaced by current incumbent Ralf Rangnick on an interim basis until the end of the season, but the German has failed to inspire the Red Devils to better things in his tenure.
A 4-1 derby defeat to Manchester City brought about renewed discussion over the future of the hot seat at Old Trafford with Rangnick expected to assume a backseat role next season and discussion ongoing over who should be the long-term replacement for Solskjaer in Manchester.
Here are the runners and riders for the job.
The current favourite for the job, Pochettino has been linked with the main job at Old Trafford ever since his days at Tottenham. His record at giving youth players a chance and being able to develop them in the first team has won him rave reviews and is a key attraction to the Manchester United hierarchy, as is his attacking style of football. Currently in charge of Paris St Germain, the ability to extract him from that job is expected to hinge on any success in the Champions League, but it is thought that he is open to leaving his contract – which ends in 2023 – early.
Erik ten Hag
Ten Hag has masterminded a revival of the famed Ajax academy, overseeing the progress of several talented youngsters and guiding them through to the final stages of the Champions League before seeing his side dismantled by the bigger clubs on the continent, all while playing the Ajax ‘brand’ of football. He has stayed loyal to the Dutch club having been there since 2017 despite interest from elsewhere, but the decision-makers at Old Trafford see a lot of potential with him and with former favourite Edwin van der Sar CEO at the Dutch champions, could find a way to prise him away.
It could be a second crack at one of the Premier League’s big teams for Rodgers, who has maintained an impressive reputation despite a mixed time at Liverpool. After nearly guiding them to a memorable and historic title in 2014, things went sour for Rodgers but in spells at Celtic and Leicester since, he has established himself as one of the best coaches in the country. He is adept at improving players and playing good football and is known as an ambitious coach, but having previously been at rivals Liverpool and with a big contract at Leicester it could be a hard one to negotiate – though recent form suggests he could be on his way out.
Club: Manchester United
The current Manchester United interim boss was a surprise appointment in November, and hasn’t exactly convinced in his time in charge. It was made clear early on that he would be moving upstairs after seeing the job through to the end of the season, but for a man who hadn’t coached at the top level for several years before taking the job it was always a big ask. An uninspired style of play and factions within the squad appear to make it clear he won’t be manager next season.
Conte was rumoured to be a strong contender for the job at Old Trafford in November before eventually taking the Spurs job. There are rumours that the hierarchy in Manchester were never really considering the Italian for the job due to his nature to complete short-term roles – albeit successfully – before ignominious departures, as has been demonstrated by his time at Tottenham. He almost guarantees success so could be an appealing short term option.
Club: Atletico Madrid
It would be some coup for the Red Devils to tempt Simeone to break away from Atletico, where he has been since 2011, winning La Liga in 2013/14 and 2020/21, as well as finishing runners-up in the Champions League on two occasions and amassing six other trophies. He is a winner, but a controversial figure who might not wash well and be hard to manage from figures upstairs, while his style of football would also cause problems.