Antonio Conte ‘identifies nine players’ to build Man United team around – One star out

Antonio Conte reportedly favours nine Manchester United players that he could build a new team around.

Conte has been linked with the Red Devils manager’s job following United’s 5-0 hammering at the hands of Liverpool.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under tremendous pressure to turn things around quickly after his side succumbed to their heaviest defeat of the season against their bitter rivals at Old Trafford.

Conte is currently out of work after leading Inter Milan to Serie A success and is said to be open to the idea of joining United.

Initial reports suggested Conte had some concerns over how much power he’d be handed if he took over at Old Trafford.

United boast a number of superstars and Solskjaer is under pressure to not only play them all but to get the best out of them.

But Conte has experience handling superstars, with the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Christian Eriksen flourishing under his management last season.

New reports from Italy now claim Conte has identified nine players he could build a United team around.

According to Gazzetta dello Sport, the nine players are Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba, Raphael Varane, Alex Telles, Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial, Jadon Sancho, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford.

Conte’s preference could mean the likes of captain Harry Maguire and full-backs Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka may be in danger of losing their places in the starting XI.

Signing a new goalkeeper may also be a consideration for Conte.

If Conte does indeed favour these nine players and believe he can build a title-winning squad around them then it will be music to the ears of the Man United board.

The club has splashed big money in recent years, particularly this summer bringing in Sancho, Ronaldo and Varane, and the board will not want to rip up the foundations Solskjaer has laid and start again, as they did when he replaced Jose Mourinho.

Solskjaer’s Man United are back in action against struggling Tottenham on Saturday before they then take on Atalanta in the Champions League before hosting Man City.

The derby on November 6 could be make or break for Solskjaer with another hammering likely to hit the final nail in his coffin.