Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reviews Manchester City defeat
Antonio Conte has joined Tottenham, Zinedine Zidane reportedly does not want the job as he patiently awaits the chance to succeed Didier Deschamps with France, while Brendan Rodgers and Erik ten Hag are currently committed to long-term contracts with Leicester. Manchester United are simply short of options when it comes to replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and for now, that is likely to keep the Norwegian in the job.
But take a look further afield and there are some fine coaches currently going beneath the radar.
It goes without saying, United are unlikely to consider any boss that represents a gamble or roll of the dice but sometimes, in the cases of Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger at Arsenal for example, a surprise, wildcard appointment can lead to huge success.
United are not expected to explore candidates outside of their current two-man shortlist – Rodgers and Ten Hag – for now but the board will be keen to assess their options as the pressure mounts on Solskjaer.
The current lack of availability has backed United into a corner in many ways but if the club’s hierarchy were brave enough to take a chance on a reasonably low-profile manager, there are a number of attractive options currently out there up for grabs.
Express Sport takes a look at four scattergun, wildcard appointments that could pay dividends for Manchester United…
Man Utd should explore some of the surprise managerial options currently succeeding under the radar
Graham Potter – Brighton
Without doubt a realistic option, the capture of Potter would certainly be celebrated in some quarters of United’s fan base.
That’s because the work he has carried out at Brighton since replacing Chris Hughton is now receiving widespread recognition.
Brighton sit 7th having lost just two of their 11 Premier League matches this season, catching the eye with their expansive brand of attacking, fearless football.
Potter is evidently a classy coach, capable of implementing his style on teams while improving the players he has at his disposal.
His tactical blueprint has seen Brighton play some of the sexiest football in England in recent times and if he was handed the chance to manage a squad as talented as United’s, the results could be frightening.
He could be the perfect manager to implement a system or formation capable of getting the best from this group of players.
While he is not the serial winner that United may crave, it’s clear Potter’s stock is continuing to rise as a bright, young coach who has already won over Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola.
Graham Potter is already receiving recognition amid links to the Man Utd job
Hjulmand may be an unknown entity to some but he was the mastermind behind Denmark’s Euro 2020 journey that saw them make the semi-finals against all odds.
His management skills were really put to the test after star player Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest in their opener against Finland in Copenhagen.
But Hjulmand instilled calm and focus amongst his squad in a time of crisis before inspiring his team to the last four.
Furthermore, the Dane showcased his tactical flexibility and his team’s 3-4-3 system was considered one of the best set-ups in the tournament.
Denmark were not only defensively strong but they cut through teams in attack, netting four times against both Russia and Wales.
His side were also the first team to qualify for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, topping their group in style.
Aston Villa were said to be considering Hjulmand as a potential replacement for Dean Smith before moving to appoint Steven Gerrard.
While from the outside he would represent a strange appointment, he has all the qualities to prove an unexpected hit.
Kasper Hjulmand led Denmark to the semi-finals of Euro 2020
Gian Piero Gasperini
Cristiano Ronaldo labelled Gasperini a “fantastic coach” in the aftermath of United’s 2-2 draw with Atalanta earlier this month.
The Italian has worked wonders in Bergamo, guiding Atalanta to three consecutive third-place finishes in Serie A.
He is currently working with a minuscule budget in comparison to some of Italy’s biggest clubs, something that reflects brilliantly on his excellent coaching.
Gasperini is also renowned for playing an exhilarating brand of gung-ho attacking football.
Atalanta have been the highest scoring side in Serie A in each of the last three campaigns.
For that reason, he could be the ideal coach to maximise the use of United’s mouthwatering forward options.
Man Utd forward Cristiano Ronaldo already approves of Gian Piero Gasperini
Finally, Gallardo is seen as one of the most respected coaches in South America and it seems only a matter of time before he makes the move to Europe.
Tottenham are understood to have considered the River Plate boss earlier this summer before moving to appoint Nuno.
Gallardo has been in charge of River since 2014 and given the expectation and pressure to succeed in Buenos Aires, his ability to stay in the job is telling.
He is a serial winner having guided River to a Copa Sudamericana, Recopa Sudamericana (3), Copa Libertadores (2), Suruga Bank Championship, Copa Argentina (3) and Supercopa Argentina (2).
His C.V speaks for itself and Gallardo would bring a clear winning mentality with him to Old Trafford, something that is currently lacking under Solskjaer.
While his English could prove an issue, there are not many other reasons to suggest Gallardo doesn’t have the quality to shake up this United side, who are limping towards another trophyless season.