Ernesto Valverde Approached: The Latest on Manchester United’s Manager Search

Ernesto Valverde

Manchester United have approached Ernesto Valverde about a possible interim manager role at the club following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s exit.

The 57-year-old has been out of work since leaving Barcelona in 2020.

As reported by Jamie Jackson and Fabrizio Romano, both of The Guardian, Valverde would represent a temporary appointment ahead of the summer.

Manchester United Make Ernesto Valverde Approach

Latest on Manchester United’s Managerial Search

Unsurprisingly, there are many reports covering Manchester United’s managerial situation. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left the club over the weekend following a dismal 4-1 loss to Watford in the Premier League. At the same time, it was announced that Michael Carrick would take charge as caretaker manager before an interim could be appointed.

Carrick started his reign as caretaker boss with a 2-0 win over Villarreal in the Champions League – securing The Red Devils’ place in the last 16.

It is unlikely that Carrick will take the job going forward, but the more United win the better for the club’s hierarchy, particularly football director John Murtough, who has been tasked with replacing Solskjaer. Any wins will buy him more time to secure the right appointment – something Manchester United must finally do.

Mauricio Pochettino has been named as a leading candidate by many outlets, including BBC Sport, who claim the former Tottenham Hotspur boss is open to taking the job at Old Trafford.

Ernesto Valverde Approach

If Manchester United do go with an interim, and all reports suggest that they are open to not doing so if a manager they’d like to appoint in the summer became hirable, then they are very limited in options.

So limited that names like Steve Bruce are being thrown around, something that surely can’t happen.

Ernesto Valverde, former Barcelona boss and forward in his playing days, is named as a coach Manchester United have made contact with about an interim role.

Valverde has a wealth of experience, having coached since the early 2000s. He has led Athletic Bilbao (on two occasions), Espanyol, Olympiacos (also on two occasions), Villarreal, Valencia and Barcelona.

He could easily be seen as a safe pair of hands to take United into the summer and given his employment status, would surely be open to a short-term stint to get his name back out there and there is no greater name in football to do so at than Manchester United.

Valverde has won five league titles – three with Olympiacos and two with Barcelona. It would be his first job outside of Spain or Greece and thus a big test but there aren’t many other names for United to consider on an interim basis.

That said, The Guardian’s report claims there is a shortlist of five, should the club be unable to hire someone permanently – with Brendan Rodgers and Mauricio Pochettino named as more long-term options.

Pochettino Appointment Not as Straightforward as it Seems

BBC Sport’s Simon Stone adds that Manchester United are focusing on hiring an interim manager at the moment, feeling the immediate appointment of Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino not to be as straightforward as has been suggested.

The former Spurs boss is in Manchester this week as his team takes on Manchester City in the Champions League.

Either way, the games will keep on coming for Manchester United. Following their Champions League win tonight, they face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, November 28.

 

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