OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER’S Manchester United future is in serious doubt after Wednesday’s embarrassing Champions League defeat to Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir.
It came on the back of a Premier League home loss to Arsenal last weekend – United’s THIRD defeat at Old Trafford already this season.
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Reports now claim Solskjaer, 47, could face the chop should his Red Devils fail to produce the goods against high-flying Everton tomorrow.
Here, SunSport’s Anthony Chapman looks at five possible replacements for the Norwegian at the Theatre of Dreams – ranked from best to worst.
1. MAURICIO POCHETTINO – FREE AGENT
FORMER Tottenham boss Pochettino is the clear favourite to take charge at United should Solskjaer go.
A five-and-a-half year veteran of the Premier League, the 48-year-old transformed Spurs from has-beens to title contenders.
Pochettino’s greatest achievement was reaching the 2019 Champions League final, where he lost to Liverpool.
But despite failing to win a trophy at Tottenham, the Argentine’s positive tactics and desire to play winning football is unquestionable.
With a tasty transfer kitty at his disposal, Pochettino would be able to overhaul United’s misfit squad and bring back the glory days sooner rather than later.
However, there could be worries about heads dropping after a pivotal setback, as seen in Spurs’ decline after their European final woe last year.
2. MASSIMILIANO ALLEGRI – FREE AGENT
A SERIAL title winner with SIX Serie As to his name, Allegri commands serious respect as a manager.
The former AC Milan and Juventus tactician, 53, has been out of work since May 2019.
But Allegri has been linked with plenty of top jobs in that time.
And he would bring some much-needed stability to Old Trafford with a defence-first approach.
Allegri’s ability to seamlessly switch between a four and five-man back-line seems to be just what United need right now after some recent high-profile blunders.
Yet that philosophy has attracted criticism at times, with doubts over Allegri’s attacking nous following two Champions League final defeats.
3. DIEGO SIMEONE – ATLETICO MADRID
PASSIONATE and entertaining, Simeone is one of European football’s most popular managers.
Nearly nine years with Atletico proves loyalty is not yet dead in the game.
And Simeone, 50, has also gifted his club with numerous trophies despite their meagre budget, which always makes them the underdog against Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The former Argentina international would certainly fire up those players willing to put themselves on the line for United, while weeding out those who don’t have the heart required.
But Simeone’s style could put him at odds with fans, who have little desire to see their heroes park the bus and disrupt the other team’s attacking plays.
Just like Allegri, he has also lost two Champions League finals this decade, raising questions over his ability to go the extra mile when needed.
4. BRENDAN RODGERS – LEICESTER
A FORMER Liverpool man in the Old Trafford dugout would surely ruffle a few feathers.
But nobody can question the rise of Rodgers, 47, from tactical tinkerman to Premier League maestro.
He has taken Leicester to a new level while getting the best out of veteran players and youngsters alike.
Rodgers’ time at former side Celtic also looks even better in light of their current progress under Neil Lennon.
However, making the leap to a club the size of United can be daunting – just ask David Moyes.
And after eventually running out of answers at Liverpool, there may be some who question if Rodgers is worth the risk.
5. JULIAN NAGELSMANN – RB LEIPZIG
UNITED fans love nothing more than seeing an exciting, hungry youngster burst onto the scene.
And that’s exactly what they’ll get if Nagelsmann, 33, makes the move from Germany to England.
Success at Hoffenheim led to a chance at Leipzig just one year ago, and Nagelsmann hasn’t looked back since.
He led them to their first-ever Champions League semi-final in August with a high-pressing, high-intensity philosophy inspired by Jurgen Klopp.
Nagelsmann’s approach could be a big hit with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood.
But it would be a venture into the unknown due to his short time in the game, and United may lack the patience required having gambled on Solskjaer almost two years ago.
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