For weeks now it has been taken as read that Jose Mourinho will be in charge at Old Trafford next season.
The Special One has done little to play down a move to Manchester United and remains the 2/5 favourite to take the helm in time for the 2016-17 season.
However, with Louis van Gaal guiding the Red Devils to an FA Cup semi-final and still in the race for a top four finish all is not as clear cut as it seems – especially with Ligue 1 giants PSG now interested in Mourinho.
So, where should United look if the opportunity to join forces with the Special One passes them by?
Here are five alternative routes the United board should consider, according to Ladbrokes News
Stick with Louis van Gaal @ 6/4
For all his faults Van Gaal can still have a relatively successful second season at United. The Dutchman has guided United to their best chance of landing an FA Cup since their last win in 2004 and should he guide the club into the top four again things will be looking up for the future.
With the likes of Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Marcus Rashford coming to prominence this season the club once again has a crop of homegrown(ish)talent on which to peg the future. How well those players would flourish under Mourinho remains a huge doubt.
Laurent Blanc @ 5/1
The former Manchester United defender has taken PSG to the next level, with the Parisiens cruising in Ligue 1 and narrowly losing out to Man City in the Champions League.
Should Mourinho take his job the Frenchman will be in the market for a new role and could play a big part in recruiting Zlatan Ibrahimovic – supposedly the Red Devils’ top summer target.
Mauricio Pochettino @ 6/1
Top choice for many United supporters the Argentine has won plenty of admirers since joining the Premier League from Espanyol. His Southampton side was a sight to behold before being picked apart and he has continued to work his magic at White Hart Lane, with Tottenham still very much in the title race.
An ability to potentially lure the likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli to Old Trafford also make him a standout candidate but with Spurs in the ascendancy he may take some persuading.
Mark Hughes @ 33/1
Some sections of the United following are desperate for the club to appoint a former fan favourite in Ryan Giggs but a more qualified candidate who still fits that bill is Hughes.
The 52-year-old has 17 years of managerial experience to draw upon and while that hasn’t always been at the top end of the spectrum he has achieved no mean feat in transforming Stoke from the direct, physical side he inherited from Tony Pulis to a free-flowing, expansive and creative side that have played plenty of football this season that would be welcomed by the Old Trafford crowd.
Eddie Howe @ 50/1
United weren’t necessarily wrong in looking for someone to emulate Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure when Fergie stepped down – a British manager who could build the club in his own mould and stay in the job for 20+years.
They just looked in the wrong place in David Moyes. Granted Eddie Howe needs to achieve a lot more in the game before he would seem an obvious choice but there is no brighter young managerial talent in Britain and the fast-paced, attacking and stylish football the Cherries have played this season is exactly what the Stretford End have been crying out for under Van Gaal.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.