Man United have clear Man City blueprint to hire their own Pep Guardiola as next manager

Manchester United were quiet in the January transfer window with continued uncertainty on who will come in as their new manager in the summer.

But arch rivals Manchester City have set the perfect example on what United should be looking to do now before the end of the season.

The Red Devils appeared to be heading in the right direction under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and United’s board offered their full support to the Norwegian coach last summer with the signings of Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo.

He was also given a new long-term contract, but things soon unravelled for Solskjaer before he was sacked in November.

United are now back to square one in their bid to return to the top of English football.

Rangnick’s appointment until the end of the season papers over the cracks, but work needs to be done immediately to get them back on track.

No signings were made in January, potentially due to the fact no permanent manager was in place.

Attention will now turn to targets for the summer, but those plans may well have to be put on hold until Solskjaer’s long-term replacement is confirmed.

Naturally, clubs often wait until the end of the season to get the manager they want in.

But City broke that mould in 2016 when they announced midway through the campaign that Pep Guardiola would be taking over from Manuel Pellegrini at the end of the season.

Guardiola was still managing Bayern Munich at the time and the timing of his decision caught some by surprise.

It was a huge coup for City though in getting their top target confirmed months before the transfer window.

And United may well need to follow a similar pattern to give themselves the best chance of not wasting any time in the summer.

Mauricio Pochettino appears to be the top target and reports in France have suggested that he will leave in the summer.

The issue United face in those negotiations may well be the fact that Champions League football for next season is far from certain.

While they currently hold fourth in the table, United are only four points ahead of Wolves in eighth.

That puts even more importance on games against Burnley, Southampton, Brighton and Leeds for United to solidify their position in the table and give their next manager the best platform to build upon.