It is looking increasingly like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is going to remain Manchester United manager for a very long time, regardless of the side’s indifferent start to the season.
The side’s poor home form in particular (won 3, drawn 1, lost 4) has left a number of fans calling for the manager’s head, with former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino seen by many as a significant upgrade on the Norwegian.
However, with the Argentinian now out of work for more than a year, time is running out for United to secure him and it is now looking highly likely that he will be joining Real Madrid in the near future.
The net is tightening around head coach Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabeu. Los Blancos are lying fourth in La Liga, seven points behind Real Sociedad – a situation only made more tolerable by the fact that arch rivals Barcelona are faring even worse in seventh place. However, Madrid’s shock 2-0 defeat by Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Tuesday has left Zidane holding on by his fingernails and Sport claims that the club has already approached Pochettino about the position.
‘Sport can confirm that Real Madrid have contacted Mauricio Pochettino to find out his availability should he be necessary as an emergency resource for the bench,’ the outlet claims.
‘Real Madrid have lost their faith in Zidane, whom they adore and respect, but the line he is leading is desperate.
‘The club wants to see the glass half full. They hope to beat Moenchengladbach and finish top of their group and regain their form in the League against Sevilla and Atletico Madrid.
‘But they do not want to improvise in case of bad news and Pochettino is the patch in case Zidane does not come out of this.
‘Pochettino has the profile they are looking for. A methodical coach, with experience in top competition, who knows how to manage a dressing room and who has openly declared his Madridismo…A coach who they already tried to sign when Zidane resigned in 2018.
‘The Argentine would take up the challenge with pleasure.’
If Sport’s report is true, even defeat against Sevilla tomorrow might be enough for Zidane to lose his job and Pochettino to step in.
Meanwhile, United’s executive vice chairman said at a fan forum on November 20th that United ‘will continue to support Ole’ and that ‘we see positive signs on the pitch and the training ground that reinforce our belief in the progress being made [by him].’ This suggests that whilst Zidane’s head is on the block, Solskjaer’s is not and that United, by contrast, have no intention of replacing the Norwegian regardless of the side’s performance and results in the coming months.