Next Manchester United Manager Odds: Pochettino Now Favourite
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has finally been relieved of his duties after three years in charge of Manchester United and no trophies to show for his efforts.
The final nail in the coffin came in the form of an inexcusable 4-1 defeat to Watford on Saturday, leaving the Old Trafford board little choice but to dismiss the Norwegian, and the best betting sites are taking wagers on who will succeed Solskjaer.
United are already way off the pace in the league and have drifted out to 150/1 in the Premier League betting on the title race, though at 20/1 in the Champions League outright odds they're still in with a shout in Europe so there's plenty to play for this term.
Below, we have taken a look at some of the contenders to replace Solskjaer in the Old Trafford hot seat as Michael Carrick takes the wheel for the time being at least.
Manchester United Next Permanent Manager Odds
|Erik ten Hag||16/1|
Could Pochettino be lured from PSG?
United had the opportunity to ditch Solskjaer for Mauricio Pochettino in late 2019, but they did not take it. The Argentine instead ended up at Paris Saint-Germain, where he does not seem entirely happy as the leader of the club’s galactico project.
Pochettino has unfinished business in the Premier League and he will surely be back in English football at some point. United would be wise to see if they can tempt him away from the Parc des Princes if Solskjaer is sacked, but it might not be easy to do so at this point in time.
PSG failed to win the Ligue 1 title last term, and Pochettino may have reservations about passing up the opportunity to have a crack at the Champions League with Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar in the team. But that notion hasn't stopped punters backing him in to the current favourite for the role and reports suggest the former Spurs boss is open to a return to English football.
Former Liverpool Manager Rodgers In The Frame
With new Tottenham manager Antonio Conte ruled out of the equation, United could turn to Brendan Rodgers. The Leicester City boss has done a fine job at the King Power Stadium over the last two and a half years, before which he won two Scottish Premiership titles at Celtic. It is his job prior to that, though, which could be problematic.
Rodgers is not exactly Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley or Jurgen Klopp. But he did manage Liverpool for 166 matches and almost took them to the title in 2013/14. Given the rivalry between the two clubs, many United supporters would find it difficult to embrace a man who has coached on the other side of the divide, particularly as he would be replacing a club legend.
Rodgers is an excellent manager though, and one who would be an upgrade on Solskjaer. He out-thought the Norwegian in Leicester’s recent 4-2 victory over United, having also beaten the Red Devils en route to FA Cup glory last term. Still, those Liverpool links mean he is a controversial candidate to take charge at Old Trafford.
Would Zidane be willing to work in England?
Solskjaer has been accused of having no clear plan as United manager. He did not give his team an on-field identity in the manner of his closest competitors, Klopp, Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel.
The same charge was levelled at Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid. The difference is Los Blancos won two La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues across the Frenchman’s two spells in the dugout. Solskjaer did not win so much as a League Cup since taking the reins in December 2018.
Zidane demonstrated an ability to get the best out of world-class players at Madrid, and he would instantly command the respect of the United dressing room. Yet reports suggest he is not interested in assuming control at Old Trafford, and his agent said in 2018 that Zidane had no desire to work in English football.
With France being one of the best teams around and favourites in next year’s World Cup betting, that's a job likely to make more appeal to Zidane and the former Madrid manager may well have his sights set elsewhere than at Manchester United.
Michael Carrick Could Play His Way Into Contention
Michael Carrick has no managerial experience yet he currently finds himself in the position of caretaker manager of one of the biggest clubs in world football. That is a reflection on how poorly the club is being run at the minute, from a footballing perspective at least, though Carrick is believed to have a fine football brain.
Another club legend and fan favourite is probably not what Manchester United need next, but if the former midfielder hits the ground running and gets the team going again, who knows what offer might come his way in the coming weeks.
Bookies and punters aren't too convinced though. Online football betting sites will usually pay out on a next permanent manager bet if the candidate reaches 10 league games in charge. It's currently around 6/1 that Carrick reaches that milestone.
Is Ten Hag a big enough name for United?
Erik ten Hag declared earlier this year that it would take an “exceptional and extraordinary” offer to prise him away from Ajax. An approach from Manchester United would surely fall into that category.
The Dutchman has done a brilliant job in Amsterdam. He has won two Eredivisie titles and memorably caused a Champions League betting upset when he guided Ajax to the semi-finals of the competition in 2018/19. That team – featuring the likes of Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt and Hakim Ziyech – was broken up but Ten Hag has built another terrific side which is making waves in Europe again this term.
There is no doubting Ten Hag’s coaching credentials, and Donny van de Beek would be delighted to see him. However, the powers that be at United – together with certain influential members of the squad – might not consider him a big enough name. That would be the wrong way to look at it, but it could ultimately prevent the 51-year-old from landing the job.
Would Ronaldo Take a Player-Manager Role?
Tim Sherwood was scoffed at when he became the first pundit to seriously suggest Cristiano Ronaldo as a possible successor to Solskjaer, but with every passing defeat for Manchester United the idea seems more plausible.
Ronaldo’s goals are basically carrying United so far this season and both his team-mates and manager have commended his leadership skills since his return to Old Trafford.
Problem is, Ronaldo has always maintained that he plans to play until he’s 40, but could an old school player-manager role fit the bill? At 20/1 it’s a long shot with the bookies, but those who believe can place a bet on this unlikely outcome.
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