Van Gaal expects meeting with United this week: Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal is "ready" to succeed David Moyes at Old Trafford, reports the Daily Mirror, among other outlets. The paper claims that the Dutchman is currently at his villa in Portugal’s Algarve and expecting a meeting there with a United delegation to discuss the prospect of taking over from Moyes. Van Gaal has been linked to the Tottenham job, but is holding out for the Old Trafford post.
Paper Round's view: Van Gaal will probably be a popular choice among the United faithful, many of whom are now itching to see an experienced, established manager take their club forward. Van Gaal ticks all those boxes, having gathered a wealth of experience at club, European and international level over a managerial career spanning 28 years. For Van Gaal himself, as for any manager, a job of this nature is hugely tempting, not only because of the prestige of managing one of the world's biggest clubs, but also in this case because he cannot lose - whatever he does can only be an improvement on what Moyes achieved.
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Klopp also on United radar: The Daily Mail, meanwhile, present Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp as their leading candidate to replace Moyes. The German has been linked with a move to Spanish giants Barcelona, but bookmakers Coral have installed him as a 5-1 joint favourite with Van Gaal for the United job, according to the paper.
Paper Round's view: Dortmund may well have endured a difficult season under Klopp, but the flamboyant and entertaining manager certainly has the flair for the United job. His teams play attractive football, something which has been sorely lacking at Old Trafford this season, and he is seen as being progressive, rather than the somewhat regressive Moyes.
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Simeone set for United audition: The Telegraph claims that Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone is set for "an audition" for the United post when he leads his side into their Champions League semi-final against Chelsea. The Argentine has done superbly since taking over the Spanish capital club, leading them to the top of La Liga and to the brink a European Cup final, and is among the managers United are considering to take them into a new era.
Paper Round's view: Given where he has taken Atleti, there can be no doubting Simeone's ability as a talented young manager, with experience to boot after three successful years in charge in Madrid. He is, though, hardly revered on the Old Trafford terraces, considering his involvement in the sending off of David Beckham, then a United favourite, at the 1998 World Cup in France. Will that have a bearing on the Glazers' decision, once they come to make one? Probably not, just it's worth noting anyway.
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Could Sir Alex Ferguson return? That's the question The Independent asks this morning. The paper highlights that such a move is not unprecedented, with Sir Matt Busby having returned to the Old Trafford hotseat after his initial departure. Back in the 1970/71 season, Busby was given back his previous role after his replacement Wilf McGuinness had failed to deliver. In another coincidence, just like Ferguson, Busby became a director at Manchester United following his managerial retirement, the article points out.
Paper Round's view: Ferguson has steadfastedly refused to consider going back into management, and even the extent of United's woes would surely not see him cave in to what would most likely be a popular move among fans. And the quirky Busby comparison obviously means nothing.
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United players knew before Everton match: The Mirror claims that United players knew of Moyes' fate even before Sunday's match at Goodison Park. The paper reveals that players were telling friends they were adamant that their manager would be ‘sacked within days’ on the eve of the 2-0 loss, having heard of significant developments within the Old Trafford hierarchy. The report adds: "There are also suggestions from sources close to the United dressing-room that Moyes may have already known that the Glazer family had decided to axe him before the game at Goodison, but was determined to face the fury of the supporters of the club he quit for United before he departed."
Paper Round's view: If true, it's easy to see why United put in such an abject display against Everton - a manager who knew it would be his last game in charge, and a team who were effectively playing for a dead man walking. Unfortunately, it appears that Moyes is not held in high enough regard by his players to expect them to give him a gutsy send-off, which not only speaks volumes for his stature within in the club, but also the players' attitudes this season.
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Several players' futures on hold: The futures of the likes of Danny Welbeck, Shinji Kagawa and Robin van Persie are up in the air amid the speculation over the identity of the United's new manager. All three players have been linked with moves elsewhere, but now they may decide to wait and see how the situation unfolds before making any concrete decisions. Welbeck is wanted by Tottenham and Kagawa by Borussia Dortmund, while Van Persie was thought to have wanted out earlier in the season. The report even claims that Rio Ferdinand may delay a decision about his future until there is more clarity about who will be in charge next term
Paper Round's view: This makes absolute sense: why would a player jump ship without knowing who will be in charge next season. A new boss could well revitalise any of the above, with Kagawa likely to be hoping for his former boss Klopp to be installed, and Van Persie keeping his fingers crossed for fellow Dutchman Van Gaal, whose possible arrival as manager is seen to be the only way the striker will be willing to stay put.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Van Gaal
- Old Trafford
- David Moyes
- Diego Simeone
- Borussia Dortmund