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Top five managers who could replace Jose Mourinho at Manchester United

Written by: Waseem Zaidi

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The Portuguese is under immense pressure at Old Trafford with his team enduring their worst start to a league campaign in nearly three decades.

Jose Mourinho is a man under tremendous pressure. His team, Manchester United are languishing on the 10th spot in the Premier League, already nine points behind league leaders Manchester City. Much of the blame for the early debacle is expectedly being put on Jose and his tactics. Add to that, a very public rift between Paul Pogba and him has only irated the fans furthermore.

Some sources have claimed that the 'third season syndrome' has once again struck Mourinho, a phenomenon that ended his last stint in the league with Chelsea where he fell out with his players in similar fashion.

It seems highly unlikely that 'the special one' will be able to turn this around and the mood around the club suggest that the days of the Portuguese manager appear to be numbered as he heads towards an inevitable sacking.

In that scenario, the list of probables that could replace Mourinho at the helm at the club is an interesting one. Therefore, we take a look at the possible candidates that could be the next manager of Manchester United.

Ernesto Valverde

One of the recent rumours doing the rounds of various social media platforms suggests a possible swap of managers between Manchester United and FC Barcelona. A rocky start domestically for both clubs has drawn criticism from the fans. If a swap does materialise in the future, then Valverde's attacking approach could solve much of United's present problems.

The 54-year-old, however, will be favoured to keep his job at the Catalan club. Perhaps the board will steer clear of appointing Mourinho, given his history at the rival club, Real Madrid C.F.





Mauricio Pochettino

The Argentine is now in his fourth year as the manager at Tottenham Hotspur but has yet to deliver a piece of silverware, a fact that dents his otherwise impressive work at the London club. Under Pochettino, Spurs have become a decent side that is constantly challenging for the top-four positions in the Premier League.

If Manchester United were to go for a figure with Premier League experience, then Mauricio remains their best bet. His man management and ability to work well with younger players can bring forth the best out of youngsters such as Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial.


 
 
 
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 It was all fine at the start of the season


Laurent Blanc

The Frenchman is a former Manchester United player and was most recently the manager at Paris Saint-Germain. The 52-year-old is well-known for advocating an attractive style of football that is fast and attack-minded. Laurent was crucial in the rise of PSG into a dominant club we know today. Despite winning a treble in the 2015/16 season with the Paris outfit, the manager was criticized for the exit in the UEFA Champions League by the hands of Manchester City in the quarters; as a result he left the club by mutual consent.

Laurent's appointment as United manager would bring back a bit of the old flair of the early 2000s when he was a player at the club under the legend himself, Sir Alex Ferguson. Perhaps he will bring the old 'United way' back to the Theatre of Dreams, which fans have yearned for.


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Massimiliano Allegri

Allegri has been a huge part of the resurgence at Juventus FC. After last year's league success, Allegri secured his fourth consecutive Serie A title with the Old Lady. He also became the first manager to win four consecutive doubles in the process. It is safe to say that the Italian is no stranger in winning trophies, something the fans at United have been deprived of. 

If Allegri does manage to land the prestigious role as the manager at Old Trafford, then it could result in a turn of fortunes for both the parties. Interestingly, Massimiliano's arrival could also open doors for a possible recruitment of the Argentine forward, Paulo Dybala, a long term target for the Red Devils. The very thought of such a deal can send any United fan into a state of trance.

Zinedine Zidane

The favourite to take over the reins of the club from Mourinho is the French legend, Zinedine Zidane. A large section of the fans have favored the former Real Madrid gaffer to replace the Portuguese. Sources around England have also reported that Zidane is taking English lessons in order to prepare for his possible stint as the manager of Manchester United.

Zizou was awarded with the honor of Best FIFA Men's Coach in 2017 for his incredible yet short lived tenure at the Bernabeu. In 2018, Real Madrid under the leadership of Zidane, won their third consecutive UEFA Champions League titles, and in the process he also became the only coach in the history of football to win three consecutive UCL titles. He later resigned as the Real Madrid coach citing that he and the club both needed a fresh start and new challenges.

His appointment looks to be an innevitability unless Mourinho pulls a miracle and turns the fortunes at Manchester United upside down. Red Devil's UCL run could well and truly decide Jose's future of at the club.

Who manages to land this coveted job if Mourinho is sacked remains to be seen. However, the challenge is Herculean and replicating the "United way" of football would be a prerequisite for any manager that comes in.

As Jose himself pointed out that, Manchester United job is one of the biggest challenges he has ever faced.

Published: Tue Oct 02, 2018 05:58 PM IST

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