The recent rumours circulating about Jose Mourinho, the current Real Madrid manager, of him going to a club ‘where I am loved’ has re-opened the debate over not only the Chelsea heirachy but also who Sir Alex Ferguson’s future successor will be, with many tipping the eclectic manager to be front of the line.
However, Mourinho does not have a one way ticket to United due to a large number of candidates that will fight him for the job.
1. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Solskjaer was a cult hero while at United, with him coming on and scoring many important and timely goals, non-more so than in the Champions League final in 1999, when he scored arguably the most famous goal in United’s history.
He has continued his success into management, leading the Manchester United reserves for two years between 2008 and 2010 in which he won a few minor trophies. Most notably, however, is Solskjaer’s success at his current club Molde, where he has won the Norwegian Premier Division twice in succession, winning the first in his first season - the first league trophy for Molde in their history.
Solskjaer would not only be popular with the fans, but he has already proved his managerial prowess at another club and will have backing from Fergie and, in the opinion of this contributor, is the runaway favourite.
2. David Moyes
Another name that has been thrown around for a while when discussing the future man to lead United is the current Everton manager David Moyes. Moyes has had impressive success with Everton, leading them into Europe on multiple occasions with a shoe-string budget and would surely impress with more money at hand.
Perhaps the only downside is his tendency to be overly defensive away from home, a problem Everton fans know all too well.
3. Ryan Giggs
Giggs is, simply put, a club legend, and it has been suggested that one of the reasons that Fergie is still at United is because he is training Giggs to become his successor.
Not one for stating anything concrete about his footballing future, Giggs has stayed relatively tight-lipped over the prospect, and has to be taken seriously as a possible successor.
4. Laurent Blanc
Another former United player who has made a relatively successful transition into management is Laurent Blanc. His success at Bordeaux proved impressive enough for him to become the French national manager in which he has since survived a few controversies.
However, many consider him an unlikely prospect, with the board and Fergie most likely looking at a more established name than Blanc.
5. Jose Mourinho
The man who has seemingly been earmarked for the United job ever since he did his famous knee-sliding celebration while at Porto is seen by many as the perfect fit for Manchester United. A big personality, an excellent man manager and tactician, he is arguably the best young manager in the world.
However, many United fans have expressed concern about his defensive and often combative style of football, pointing towards his extremely dull side while he was at Inter. As well as this, Mourinho often only stays somewhere for a few years, a fact that will surely put a black mark on his prospects.
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