Man United board select ‘No.1 candidate’ from shortlist to replace Ole Gunnar Solksjaer

Manchester United have had a potential pursuit of Brendan Rodgers endorsed amid their poor form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Norwegian has overseen a difficult season at Old Trafford so far, with the club struggling on all fronts. And talk of him potentially being sacked continues to rumble on.

United were expected to challenge for the Premier League title after giving Solskjaer big transfer backing in the summer.

But the Red Devils have struggled so far this term, with the club’s form going from bad to worse.

United have lost six of their last 12 matches across all competitions. They already trail Chelsea by nine points at the top of the Premier League table while West Ham sent them crashing out of the Carabao Cup back in September.

With the Red Devils toiling, talk of a managerial change has gathered momentum.

And Rodgers, as things stand, appears to be United’s No 1 target to take over.

The Northern-Irishman has done well at Leicester over the past couple of years, helping the Foxes regularly challenge for a spot in the Champions League.

Rodgers has won titles at the King Power Stadium, too, in the form of the FA Cup and Community Shield.

And Noel Whelan has now expressed a belief that Rodgers would be a good option for United, despite his Liverpool past.

Speaking to Football Insider, he endorsed a pursuit by saying: “It’s a really divided club at the moment, with dressing room infighting.

“Some people have had enough of Ole and think he’s taken them as far as he can, and some are keen to give him that opportunity to turn things around.

“I think if he stays then he will win more games than he will lose – but you should do at Man United with that squad.

“He’s not the right man for the job. They need someone with experience, and Brendan Rodgers could be that manager.

“He can give them that organisation and identity, just as he’s done with Leicester.”

Rodgers isn’t the only name in the frame to replace Solskjaer.

Mauricio Pochettino remains admired, with interest in the Argentine dating back to his spell at Southampton.

Yet getting him out of Paris Saint-Germain won’t be straightforward.

Neither will appointing Zinedine Zidane, who appears to be more keen on the France job than the one at Old Trafford.

And while United have been linked with Erik ten Hag, the Dutchman appears to be happy at Ajax for the time being.

Michael Owen, meanwhile, recently ripped into Solskjaer following United’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester City.

“Manchester United have collected a fantastic array of players, but they don’t look like a team,” he said.

“Pep Guardiola and whatever team he manages, they’ve got a distinct style of play.

“That’s what you look for in a manager or coach, to put your impression on it.”

And he added: “It’s a surprise that you turn up and, with Manchester United, you don’t know what formation they’re going to play.

“They are collecting a load of players, great players from around the world, but they are chopping and changing all the time.

“You’ve got to be able to see further than the end of your nose and think; ‘This is the way we’re going to play, no matter what. We are going to buy players for these positions and now let’s play this way’.

“If things go wrong and you concede five against Liverpool, you don’t think the defence is rubbish let’s go and put one more player in there. It’s ridiculous.

“All they are doing at the moment is covering for weaknesses and looking at the next week and thinking; ‘They’re a good team, let’s play loads of defenders’.

“It’s rubbish, that’s not how you go about things. You need a long-term plan. Weed out the rubbish if it’s the case, but you have to go through a bit of pain on the way. If the target is to win the league, then that’s how they’ve got to do it.”