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Manager who was linked to Manchester United could now be taking charge of Mason Greenwood next season

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One of the worst kept secrets in European football finally became public knowledge this week, with Thiago Motta unveiled at his new side.

While Manchester United‘s decision to retain the services of Erik ten Hag took many by surprise -there were not quite so many raised eyebrows when one of his potential successors put pen to paper at his new club.

United not only looked at the likes of Thomas Tuchel and Roberto de Zerbi – The Athletic reports that both held face-to-face talks but were not deemed the right fit – they also cast their net far and wide.

It was an initial longlist consisting of some of Europe’s most exciting, up-and-coming tactical minds.

Thiago Motta, the coach of Bologna, is looking on during the Serie A soccer match between SSC Frosinone Calcio and Bologna FC at Stadio Stirpe in F...

Photo by Ciro De Luca/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Thiago Motta could work with Mason Greenwood at Juventus

There was, per The Telegraph, an admiration for the work Ruben Amorim has done at Sporting Lisbon. Two Portuguese league titles in three seasons now. Ditto Michel at Girona, taking the Catalan club into the Champions League for the first time.

Likewise Thiago Motta, who also made history with Bologna, the Rossoblu crashing through the glass ceiling themselves in Serie A a la Girona in La Liga.

But every man and his dog knew that Old Trafford would not be Motta’s destination, Juventus quickly installing the Brazil-born former Italy international as their number one target to replace Massimiliano Allegri and wasting no time in getting a deal done.

It was a deal that was finally confirmed on Wednesday afternoon. And a deal that could see him work alongside Mason Greenwood at the Allianz Stadium next season.

Juventus are reportedly hoping to seal a deal worth around £25 million in the coming weeks after the Man United forward settled on the Bianconeri as his favoured destination. Greenwood, then, could be one of the first big signings of the Motta era at Juventus, and a potential successor for Federico Chiesa after a couple of difficult, injury-hit seasons for the Euro 2020 hero.

“I am really happy to begin a new chapter at the helm of a great club like Juventus,” smiles Motta upon his unveiling at his new employers. I thank the owners and the management, who can be sure of my ambition to keep the Juventus flag flying high and to please the fans.”

A very modern tactician – Motta famously once floated the idea of a 2-7-2 formation with a roving goalkeeper – his Bologna side were ferocious, fearless and free-flowing. Inspired by the subtle talents of one Joshua Zirkzee.

According to reports, Zirkzee’s £34 million release clause makes him one of the leading striker targets on Man United’s summer wishlist.

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Erik ten Hag stays at Manchester United

Legendary Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, meanwhile, is backing Motta to take the Bianconeri back to the summit of Italian football with Milan, Inter and Napoli all lifting the Scudetto in recent seasons.

“Juve are probably trying to inject new spark into an ambitious project,” the iconic shot-stopper said at the Globe Soccer Europe Awards, via Football Italia. “And, in my view, they have had the courage to take a risk.

“I see this as a calculated risk, though. Considering what he has shown so far in his career, Thiago Motta is proving he has something special. I would say that even before Bologna, it was something of a small masterpiece at Spezia.”

  • READ MORE: Manchester United manager history, trophies won, win percentage

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