Weirdly, not one journalist the world knew anything about Jose Mourinho’s sacking in the run-up yet now we’re being bombarded with claims and counter-claims over exactly who Manchester United intend to hire as his replacement.
The club have already confirmed that a caretaker (Ryan Giggs, Ole Solskjaer and Michael Carrick have all been mentioned) will be installed to see out the season by which time they hope to have permanent solution lined up and ready to swoop in.
Mauricio Pochettino was among the first names to come up, with reports that Ed Woodward is an admirer of the work the Argentinian coach has done at Tottenham.
However, The Times claim that it would cost United £34million-plus to buy Pochettino out of his £8.5million-a-year contract at White Hart Lane, which he renewed for another five years just last summer.
for starters. There’s also the question of him being willing to forfeit the stability and level of control he enjoys at Spurs to go wading headlong into the nonstrategic chaos engulfing Old Trafford.
Other names on the chalkboard are Zinedine Zidane, who has been out of the game since guiding Real Madrid to three consecutive Champions Leagues before buggering off.
As several of the English papers have it, the Frenchman is currently ‘odds-on favourite’ to step into Mourinho’s breach, for what little that’s worth. CNN have also ordained Zidane as the “outstanding candidate” for the role, due to his combined past success with Real and his current availability.
Priced as outsiders are Laurent Blanc, Antonio Conte and Arsene Wenger, two of whom is slightly more likely to end up managing United than the other, you would feel.
Oh, and there’s always David Moyes, who still technically has five months left to run on the original six-year contract United gave him in 2013.