Paper Talk: Manchester United working to appoint permanent manager before end of season | OneFootball

Paper Talk: Manchester United working to appoint permanent manager before end of season

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Manchester United could appoint their next permanent manager before the end of the season according to Samuel Luckhurst.

There have been developments in United's process to settle on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's full-time successor and the club could secure an agreement well in advance of the summer transfer window's opening date of July 1.

Paris Saint-Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag of Ajax remain the frontrunners to take over at United, who are believed to have informally sounded out Leicester coach Brendan Rodgers while Solskjaer was still in charge. Rodgers remains under consideration.

A source familiar with the process says United believe 'the sooner, the better' a manager is appointed, with the club mindful of Tottenham's farcical efforts to replace Jose Mourinho last summer. The United football director John Murtough is believed to be heading up the process, with Ralf Rangnick also involved before he starts his consultancy role on July 1.

Multiple sources have confirmed incoming chief executive Richard Arnold will not be heavily involved in football matters but he would have to request sign-off on any managerial appointment from co-chairman Joel Glazer.

United are also determined to avoid a repeat of the timeframe of David Moyes's arrival in 2013. The club confirmed Moyes would replace Sir Alex Ferguson on May 9 but decided against paying Everton compensation to release Moyes from his contract which expired on June 30. Moyes officially started work at United on July 1 and has since admitted he regrets the delay.

Mourinho took over at United on May 27 in 2016 and the club enjoyed one of their most impressive summers in the transfer market. Solskjaer was infamously upgraded from caretaker to permanent manager on March 28 and United won two of their last 10 games of the season, losing six.

If an agreement is reached it is unclear if United would make a formal announcement similar to Manchester City's confirmation Pep Guardiola would replace Manuel Pellegrini on February 1 in 2016, given the likelihood Solskjaer's replacement is currently employed.

Pellegrini claimed his decision to announce he would be leaving at the end of the 2015-16 season was prompted by Guardiola saying "I want to manage in the Premier League" in January. PSG and Ajax are both in the Champions League round-of-16 and either side could draw United if all three clubs progress to the quarter-finals.

Pochettino, 49, is still eager to manage United and was prepared to move mid-season. United explored the possibility of releasing Pochettino from his PSG contract which expires in 2023 but a source familiar with discussions in November said the Qatari-owned club 'played hardball'.

Ten Hag, 51, is admired at United for ending Ajax's five-year championship drought in 2019 and taking the club to within seconds of the Champions League final that season, beating Real Madrid and Juventus in the previous knockout rounds. Ajax were the only side that won all six group stage games this season and face Benfica in the round-of-16.

United and Ajax have a positive relationship following the transfer of Donny van de Beek 18 months ago, while the Dutch champions enquired about loaning Dean Henderson.

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