In Brief

Mauricio Pochettino is Man Utd’s ‘manager-in-waiting’

It’s now ‘when’ and not ‘if’ Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is sacked

Manchester United’s 3-1 defeat at home to rivals Manchester City in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final looks likely to bring down the curtain on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s spell as manager.

The Sun says that United were “laugh-out-loud bad” against City, an “embarrassing” defeat that followed their 2-0 loss to Arsenal, who are not exactly at the height of their powers at the moment, but who still “bullied” the Red Devils on New Year’s Day.

Calling Pochettino

The Sun says it’s only a matter of time before United contact Mauricio Pochettino, described as the club’s “manager-in-waiting”. 

Old Trafford’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward apparently had wanted to hire the Argentine in December 2018 when United parted company with Jose Mourinho, but at the time Pochettino was tied to Tottenham. 

Ironically, Mourinho has replaced Pochettino at Spurs and Woodward doesn’t want to miss the boat for a second time.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For analysis of the biggest sport stories - and a concise, balanced take on the week’s news - try The Week magazine. Start your trial today –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Ole Gunnar
Respect

Woodward has allegedly concluded that Solskjaer doesn’t command “respect and dedication” from the United players, and he’s convinced that would change under Pochettino. 

Furthermore, the Sun says the consensus within Old Trafford is that the Norwegian has neither the “tactical expertise or the strength of personality to cure United’s long-term malaise”. 

The extent of that malaise could be painfully exposed on Sunday 19 January when United travel to Premier League leaders Liverpool, and the Sun predicts Solskjaer will be gone by the end of the month. 

The club will have to compensate Spurs if they do hire Pochettino, as per the terms of his severance deal with the north London club, but that is not expected to be an obstacle for United.

Max the man?

The Daily Mirror agrees that Solskjaer is living on borrowed time, but the paper says that Max Allegri is also a contender for the United job. 

The former Juventus boss is “monitoring” the situation and is keen to test himself in England. Allegri has turned down several offers since leaving Juve last summer - allegedly including the Arsenal one - “in the hope of landing the Manchester United job”. 

Today’s back pages

Harry Maguire injury blow rocks Man Utd

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For analysis of the biggest sport stories - and a concise, balanced take on the week’s news - try The Week magazine. Start your trial today –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Recommended

All at sixes and sevens: a mad day in Premier League history
Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian bumps fists with Aston Villa hat-trick hero Ollie Watkins
In Depth

All at sixes and sevens: a mad day in Premier League history

Should the Premier League carry on playing?
Manchester City players celebrate their goal in the 1-0 win over Brighton on 13 January
Today’s big question

Should the Premier League carry on playing?

Djokovic vs. Nadal vs. Federer: grand slam wins and career titles
Novak Djokovic has 17 grand slam titles, Rafael Nadal has 19 and Roger Federer has 20
In Depth

Djokovic vs. Nadal vs. Federer: grand slam wins and career titles

Messi vs. Ronaldo: all-time career goals and UCL records
Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Juventus against Lionel Messi of Barcelona
In Depth

Messi vs. Ronaldo: all-time career goals and UCL records

Popular articles

How scientists developed a Covid-19 vaccine in record time
A nurse prepares a dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine
In Focus

How scientists developed a Covid-19 vaccine in record time

Stalin-themed kebab shop closes after one day
Tall Tales

Stalin-themed kebab shop closes after one day

Why Italy’s government is on the verge of collapse
Matteo Renzi holds a press conference
Getting to grips with . . .

Why Italy’s government is on the verge of collapse

Free 6 issue trial then continue to