Manchester United Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer walks off the pitch at full time during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on October 24, 2021 in Manchester, England.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s time at Manchester United may finally be up after Sunday’s embarrassing 5-0 defat at home to rivals Liverpool. Antonio Conte and Zinedine Zidane are the latest names to be linked with the Old Trafford job. Elsewhere, Antonio Rudiger has attracted attention from Chelsea’s Premier League rivals and Newcastle United want to sign Conor Coady from Wolves.
OLE OUT, CONTE IN?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s position at Manchester United is under more threat than ever after Sunday’s shocking 5-0 home defeat to Liverpool. The Mirror reveal that Antonio Conte is open to becoming the next United manager following his summer exit at Inter Milan. The Italian, who won the Premier League in 2016-17 with Chelsea, is “interested in succeeding” Solskjaer should the Norwegian part ways with the Manchester club. Conte’s only demand is that United “demonstrate willingness to win the Champions League”.
Conte has won league titles at Juventus, Chelsea and Inter – but his Champions League record in management is really quite poor considering he is generally viewed as an elite-level coach. The 52-year-old has never gone further than the quarter-final stage… and that was back 2012-13 with Juve.
Conte clearly recognizes his disappointing record so is planning to address that in his next role. United are in a mess at the moment, but their squad is only lacking in a few areas. A proper coach, like Conte, could turn this around fairly quickly like he did at Chelsea. He would be the ideal appointment for the Premier League club.
…OR WILL IT BE ZIDANE?
Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has also been linked with the Manchester United job. Marca report that the Frenchman is a “wanted coach across Europe”, citing interest from United, Newcastle, Paris Saint-Germain and the French national side. Zidane is viewed as “one of the preferred options” to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, if he were to leave his role at Old Trafford. The 49-year-old has been unemployed for five months since stepping down from his job in the Spanish capital at Real Madrid.
Zidane and Conte. These seem to be the two names that are constantly mentioned whenever someone is asked ‘who should replace Solskjaer?’. They are both huge names. Probably the most elite unemployed managers in world football right now. So it makes sense why they’re linked with a job at Old Trafford. Will Manchester United go down this route again after the disappointments of Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho? If they do, they will probably be better off going with Conte over Zidane. The Italian has proven himself as a winner at multiple clubs and will shore up that leaky defence.
RUDIGER’S UNRESOLVED FUTURE AT CHELSEA
Antonio Rudiger’s contract saga at Chelsea is set to continue, with the German still yet to agree an extension with the Premier League leaders.The 28-year-old is holding out for a significant pay rise to reflect his importance to Chelsea. The Mirror report that Rudiger is in early negotiations with four top European clubs, including two Premier League sides. Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are revealed to be the four clubs in discussions with Rudiger’s representatives.
Chelsea won’t want to lose Rudiger – especially to a Premier League rival for free. There’s an argument that he has been the best centre-back in Europe since Thomas Tuchel took over at Stamford Bridge in January. It’s going to cost a lot of money to replace him, and Thiago Silva is also set to leave west London at the end of the season when his contract expires. It would just make sense for Chelsea to try and meet Rudiger in the middle of his demands. He is worth the cost of the contract extension.
NEWCASTLE WANT COADY TO KICKSTART NEW ERA
Newcastle United have identified Wolves captain Conor Coady as a “top target” ahead of the January transfer window. New part-owner Amanda Staveley and one of her trusted friends, Frank McParland, are said to be “huge fans” of the England international. McParland previously worked with Coady at Liverpool and is set to take a senior role at St James’ Park. Wolves would not be keen on selling their captain in the winter window and would demand around £20 million if he were to be prised away from Molineux.
£20 million doesn’t actually sound like a ridiculous fee. The 28-year-old would be leaving mid-season at the club where he is captain. Coady is also a regular England international which you’d think would inflate his transfer value. Despite all this, money is no object for the new Newcastle owners so it wouldn’t matter anyway. Coady would be a great signing as the Tyneside club look to strengthen their squad with English players, who are ready for the Premier League. Coady’s leadership would be an important addition to the current struggling squad.