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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sack date clearer after Zinedine Zidane outlines Man United stance

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United tenure is hanging by a thread, with reports that replacements are already being sounded out.

The beleaguered United boss has spent the last week back in Norway, giving his players that weren’t on international duty a week’s break.

That was a decision which was met with surprise, particularly in the aftermath of their chastening derby day defeat to Manchester City.

But instead of an immediate autopsy, Solskjaer has allowed his struggling squad a brief reprieve, with training set to resume on Monday morning.

International breaks are always a perilous time for Premier League managers, just ask Daniel Farke and Dean Smith.

The two-week period to allow a new coach to be hired and subsequently settled in is sometimes too appealing a prospect to turn down.

But unlike Norwich City and Aston Villa, United have stood behind their man and Solskjaer looks destined to still be in charge when they take on Watford next weekend.

However, there is still a sense that he is on borrowed time. And with every negative result only adding to the scrutiny, it’s a situation which could run and run.

The decision to stick with Solskjaer may be borne as much out of support for Solskjaer as an apparent lack of suitable replacements.

Antonio Conte’s move to Tottenham was undoubtedly a blow after the Italian had been heavily linked with the Old Trafford post just weeks before.

A look around the available candidates and it stands to reason why United are yet to bite the bullet and dispense their legendary former player.

According to various reports, Mauricio Pochettino, Zinedine Zidane and Brendan Rodgers are all on the shortlist.

But that trio all have one thing in common. A reluctance to take on English football’s biggest job in the middle of the season.

Leicester City boss Rodgers is ambitious and upwardly mobile, but feels leaving the Foxes midway through the campaign would be a mistake, with the chances of silverware still strong.

Pochettino is another who would be open to take the role, but with the opportunity to lead Paris Saint-Germain to their maiden Champions League crown, any move for him would likely be delayed until next year.

Zidane is the only coach of the three to not be in a job at the moment, but like the other two, he would rather have a full pre-season in any prospective new role.

The respective circumstances of the three candidates could lead to a stay of execution for the seemingly doomed boss.

That may not be a popular tactic, but after failing to suitably replace Sir Alex Ferguson in eight years, United need to get this appointment right.

Time, and a bit of patience could be valuable.

See also  Player’s agent ‘understands situation’ with offer from Manchester United on table – Given options for future
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