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Man United board’s shortlist of replacements after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sacking

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Manchester United have today confirmed that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign in charge of the club has come to an end.

The Norwegian has been sacked in the wake of their 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Watford on Saturday. And while Michael Carrick will take charge on an interim basis, the Red Devils will now fix their sights on hiring a new, permanent boss.

United released a statement today that read: “Manchester United announces that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has left his role as Manager.

“Ole will always be a legend at Manchester United and it is with regret that we have reached this difficult decision.

“While the past few weeks have been disappointing, they should not obscure all the work he has done over the past three years to rebuild the foundations for long-term success.

“Ole leaves with our sincerest thanks for his tireless efforts as Manager and our very best wishes for the future.

“His place in the club’s history will always be secure, not just for his story as a player, but as a great man and a Manager who gave us many great moments.

See also  Man United identify two wildcard transfer options to replace Paul Pogba next summer

“He will forever be welcome back at Old Trafford as part of the Manchester United family.

“Michael Carrick will now take charge of the team for forthcoming games, while the club looks to appoint an interim Manager to the end of the season.”

United want somebody to see out the campaign.

But, behind the scenes, the Glazers, Ed Woodward and other board members are looking ahead to the future.

So Express Sport will now take a look at who should feature on their shortlist of possible replacements.

1. Laurent Blanc

Linked in the past 24 hours, Laurent Blanc has previously achieved success with Paris Saint-Germain.

He spent two years at United under Sir Alex Ferguson, helping them win the Premier League title in 2003.

And while he’s currently working in the Middle East, Blanc could be tempted into returning to Old Trafford.

2. Julen Lopetegui

Like Blanc, Julen Lopetegui is another name in the frame.

While his time at Real Madrid didn’t work out, the Spaniard has done well with Sevilla – helping them win the Europa League in 2020.

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A left-field choice, Lopetegui would bring order to United but whether he’s got the credentials for such a big job is debatable – especially given how his time with Real Madrid worked out.

3. Luis Enrique

Luis Enrique is currently in charge of the Spain national team.

He’s unlikely to leave that role before the World Cup in Qatar next week but his name was mooted earlier in the week.

Enrique did spectacularly at Barcelona, helping them win the treble in 2015, while he’s also managed Roma in the past.

4. Zinedine Zidane

Currently available, links to Zinedine Zidane have been gaining credence.

He won the lot during his two spells at Real Madrid, including three Champions League trophies on the trot between 2016 and 2018.

Yet while Zidane would be a Galactico appointment, his lack of Premier League experience could count against him.

5. Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers recently insisted he was happy at Leicester amid links to the United job.

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But the Northern-Irishman’s history suggests he’d be tempted, having pressed the upgrade button in the past.

Rodgers previously left Celtic for Leicester because it was a step up and, though he had a spell at Liverpool, he’s still another name in the frame.

6. Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino has been linked with the United job for several years, now.

And though he’s managing Paris Saint-Germain in France, a return to the Premier League appeals to the Argentine.

United will feasibly go after Pochettino in the summer, especially after courting him for so long.

7. Erik ten Hag

Another possible option for United is Ajax boss Erik ten Hag.

He’s won two Eredivisie titles during his time at Amsterdam and, with limited resources, has made them a team to fear in the Champions League as well.

United would represent a big step up but Ten Hag has admirers at board level for all of his work over in the Netherlands. 

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Report: Arsenal now really Keen to sign ‘Astonishing’ attacker who scored more goals than Gabriel Jesus last season

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According to But Football Club, Arsenal want to sign Bayer Leverkusen and France winger Moussa Diaby before the transfer window shuts.

The Gunners are looking for a new wide player. Raphinha was high on their wish list and Mikel Arteta tried really hard to bring him in. The Brazilian, however, joined Barcelona for £55 million (Sky Sports) instead, and Arsenal have now apparently turned their attention to Diaby.

Arsenal really keen to sign Moussa Diaby from Bayer Leverkusen

Diaby is one of the finest players in the Bundesliga.

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The 23-year-old France international scored 17 goals and provided 14 assists in all competitions, which is a truly sensational return for a wide player.

His performances have caught the eye of a number of clubs, including Arteta’s Arsenal. The report claims that Diaby ‘strongly appeals’ to the Gunners boss, who is really keen to bring in a new winger before the window shuts.

The ‘astonishing‘ winger has come out and claimed that he wants to stay at Leverkusen this season, while the German outfit are keen to retain his services too.

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However, the report claims that if an offer in the region of £59.2 million arrives, they will let him go.

Arsenal don’t intend to pay that figure, but the report claims they will try to negotiate a deal for a lower fee.

Diaby still has three years left on his contract at Leverkusen.

Diaby really is a sensational player.

31 goal involvements in a single campaign for a 23-year-old wide player is a truly sensational return.

See also  Raphael Varane leaves Real Madrid pre-season camp amid Man United transfer stand-off

Even Gabriel Jesus, who is viewed as the answer to Arsenal’s goalscoring woes, didn’t score as many goals as Frenchman last season.

Arsenal’s backup winger at the moment is Nicolas Pepe. The Ivorian, on his day, is unplayable, but sadly for Arsenal supporters, those days have rarely ever occurred over the last three years.

Diaby would be a massive upgrade over Pepe, but whether Arsenal can lure him in remains to be seen.

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Report: Star ready to join Man United now wants £33.7million contract

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The latest reports in the media are anything to go by and Adrien Rabiot’s mother-agent, Veronique, is proving to be a difficult negotiator.

Last night, we covered a story (via La Gazzetta Dello Sport) claiming that the French international has demanded a three-year deal worth £25.4million to move to Old Trafford.

This morning, as per Corriere dello Sport (news image provided below), the Red Devils have agreed a fee worth 17-18 million euros with Juventus but the dilemma is that the agreement with the player is still missing.

See also  Man United identify two wildcard transfer options to replace Paul Pogba next summer

Ten Hag contacted Rabiot to convince him to join Man Utd which is why the midfielder became willing to negotiate personal terms.

However, Veronique now wants a four-year contract worth 40 million euros (£33.7million) for his son and the negotiations have slowed down.

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Manchester United’s midfield department is in desperate need of reinforcements and Ten Hag may end up losing out on signing Frenkie de Jong to Chelsea.

The last big signing for the central midfield was done back in 2018 when Mourinho splashed the cash to lure Fred from Shakhtar. The Red Devils must act fast to strengthen things in the center of the park.

See also  Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Man United have huge Cristiano Ronaldo problem ahead of next summer

Rabiot is neither as creative as Pogba nor as versatile as De Jong. However, he has experience of winning big titles with PSG and Juventus and even with France. So, in all fairness, he would be an upgrade to McFred.

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Man United pushing for Pogba replacement in more ways than one

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Manchester United may be about to take on another troublesome Frenchman, having just gotten rid of one.

The departures of Paul Pogba and others this summer have left new manager Erik ten Hag with a bare cupboard in terms of midfield options.

United have turned to Juventus outcast Adrien Rabiot, who is available for £15 million, after failing to secure Frenkie de Jong, the Ten Hag’s top transfer target, from Barcelona.

Rabiot, 27, isn’t particularly popular at Juventus and hasn’t replicated the form that established his reputation during the seven years he spent at PSG before that.

But it isn’t just on-field sluggishness that has harmed the reputation of a player who was once regarded as France’s golden boy.

Off-field squabbles and indiscretions, not only by Rabiot but also by his formidable mother and agent Veronique, have earned him a reputation as a difficult customer in the game.

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However, Ten Hag and United are becoming increasingly desperate. Despite the club’s insistence that their interest in Rabiot was firm prior to Sunday’s season-opening loss to Brighton, the timing appears to be a reactionary move.

And Rabiot’s rap sheet contains numerous items that could cause United to live to regret their decision.

Rabiot was on the verge of breaking into the PSG senior squad after graduating from their academy in 2012.

Rabiot was supposed to travel to Qatar with the team for a mid-season tour, but his mother insisted on accompanying him.

Veronique, Rabiot’s uncompromising agent, enters the picture. After his father, Michel Provost, suffered a stroke in 2007 that left him with locked-in syndrome, she took over his career. Michel is paralysed but fully aware.

See also  Man United identify two wildcard transfer options to replace Paul Pogba next summer

Her insistence on accompanying the tour caused friction, and Rabiot was eventually loaned out to Toulouse.

Even stranger, she allegedly insisted on attending all of their training sessions while there.

Two years later, Rabiot was on the verge of leaving PSG after Laurent Blanc demoted him to the reserves.

Veronique was waiting for Blanc as he left PSG’s Camp des Loges training facility one evening.

‘You can’t treat him like that. ‘I’m not going to agree to that,’ Blanc was told, presumably forcefully.

PSG had no choice but to call in security, but the confrontation appeared to work.

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Rabiot’s contract with PSG was renewed – and on better terms – not long after he failed to secure a move to Roma.

France’s hopes of adding the European Championship to their World Cup glory last year ended when they lost on penalties to Switzerland in the last-16.

Afterwards, an extraordinary video emerged of Veronique confronting Mbappe’s father, Wilfried, after the PSG striker missed the decisive spot-kick.

It is thought she said: ‘It is embarrassing how he struck that, for a player of his level. He hit it too lightly, I hope you are going to scold him.’

Apparently during an earlier discussion, Veronique told Wilfried his son was ‘arrogant’, has a ‘big head’ and gets ‘too much protection from the press.’

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