David Moyes is fast running out of chances to prove he is the man to lead Manchester United into a new era of success.
Defeat to Liverpool at Old Trafford has left the champions as a distant 28/1 shot to finish in the top four of the Premier League and failure to overcome Olympiakos in the Champions League this week could leave the beleaguered Red Devils boss facing the axe.
United are set to invest over £150m in new playing staff this summer but it remains to be seen if Moyes will be pulling the purse strings.
Here we look at five viable candidates to replace the Scot ahead of a sensational summer spending spree.
Frank de Boer – Ajax – 16/1
It seems that to manage a team of big-egoed superstars these days a manager needs to have a winning pedigree in the dugout or to have succeeded at the very top as a player.
De Boer ticks both these boxes having amassed 14 major trophies as a player and leading Ajax to three Eredivisie titles in his relatively short managerial career.
The Dutchman has turned down opportunities to manage both Liverpool and Tottenham but is very keen to test himself in England, according to twin brother Ronald.
Jurgen Klopp – Borussia Dortmund – 7/1
The Dortmund coach has long been a target of a host of England’s top clubs but with Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City all seemingly content with their bosses, Old Trafford could be the German’s next stop.
After guiding BVB to the Champions League final last season, Klopp may feel he has taken the club as far as he can and after consistently having to sell his top players could be eyeing a challenge elsewhere.
Dortmund have seen Shinji Kagawa, Nuri Sahin and Mario Goetze sold during Klopp’s reign and with Robert Lewandowski, Mats Hummels and Ilkay Gundogan all set to leave this summer, the manager could be tempted to follow them out of the Westfalenstadion this time.
Laurent Blanc – PSG – 25/1
Former players are always mentioned where future Manchester United managers are concerned but while it is too early for the likes of Ryan Giggs and Phil Neville, Messrs Bruce, Ince, Keane, Cantona and Solskjaer have not impressed enough to be given the chance.
Blanc, however, while not being held in as high esteem as the previously mentioned players, is outshining most when it comes to his dugout prowess.
A Ligue 1 title and three cup successes with Bordeaux saw Blanc given the reins at PSG where he currently sits top of the league with an eight-point cushion over Monaco.
With international managerial experience and a host of winner’s medals from his playing career, the former United defender could be just the man to replace Moyes.
Vincenzo Montella – Fiorentina – 33/1
Part of an ever-expanding crop of young and talented managers Montella is currently impressing at the helm of Fiorentina in Serie A.
The 39-year-old’s Viola are currently fourth in the Italian top flight – above Inter Milan – and going well in the Europa League.
Montella has overseen some great results this season – most notably a 4-2 comeback win over league leaders Juventus – but with the Old Lady dominating the league and other teams unable to compete financially the former Fulham player could look for new challenges elsewhere.
Carlo Ancelotti – Real Madrid – 20/1
With Serie A, Ligue 1 and Premier League wins to his name, not to mention two Champions League successes, few are more equipped than Ancelotti to handle the unique pressure of managing Manchester United.
The Italian could further enhance his CV with La Liga and Champions League wins with Real Madrid this season, but the precarious nature of the Bernabéu hot seat means failure to achieve the latter could see him relieved of his duties.
The most experienced of our five candidates, Ancelotti would relish the relative stability the United role would offer him if he could deliver on the club’s more realistic ambitions over the coming seasons.
Special Mention – Gary Neville – England and Sky Sports – 20/1
The United legend and much-lauded Sky Sports man has earned rave reviews for his punditry and has impressed England manager Roy Hodgson with his input into the national team’s coaching.
A long shot to land the job on a permanent basis but if Moyes is cut adrift before the end of the current campaign, few would make a better caretaker than G-Nev.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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