If Manchester United lose to Derby County in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday night, it’s very difficult to imagine Louis van Gaal surviving.
The veteran Dutch coach, according to reports, has already conceded that he no longer has the heart for the job and has attempted to resign on at least two occasions now.
United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, however, is keen for Van Gaal to ride the storm in the hope that everything will eventually be okay - despite the fact just about every fan and the manager himself have lost faith.
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Should Van Gaal walk away from the club over the next few days, though, it would appear that Woodward has a list of potential candidates to take over at Old Trafford.
In fact, the Guardian speculate that as many as eight coaches could be in the running to become the new Manchester United manager.
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Jose Mourinho is still the favourite but, as the Guardian point out, the fact he has been ignored so far by Woodward - despite being available for over a month now, following his dismissal at Chelsea - indicates that United officials have serious reservations about appointing the controversial Portuguese coach.
Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville
Woodward may consider Ryan Giggs, United’s current assistant manager, while Gary Neville could also be an option if he leaves Valencia when his contract at Mestalla expires this summer.
Diego Simeone and Mauricio Pochettino
Other names reportedly on United’s radar are Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone and Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino, who has been shortlisted by Roman Abramovich to take over at Chelsea next season.
Woodward remains keen on Pep Guardiola, but the Catalan coach appears destined for rivals Manchester City.
Marcelo Bielsa and Jorge Sampaoli
And the final two names mentioned by the Guardian are the legendary Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa and one of his disciples, Jorge Sampaoli, who left his post as the Chile national team manager earlier this month.
Who should Ed Woodward appoint to replace Louis van Gaal? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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