Manchester United are no closer to making a managerial change after their woes continued with a defeat to Manchester City on Saturday.
United are weighing up potential candidates to replace under-fire boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but they’re reluctant to sack him without a contingency plan in place.
Solskjaer flew back to Norway with his family on Monday lunchtime to enjoy a brief break before he’s expected to return to Carrington later this week.
The 48-year-old has often returned to his native Norway at the beginning of international breaks and he flew back to Kristiansund Airport on a private jet with his wife and two sons earlier today.
As things stand Solskjaer will take charge of United when they return from international duty with a game against Watford on November 20.
Preparations for that fixture will step up later in the week when Solskjaer will return to Manchester to oversee training and work on plans for the game against the Hornets.
United’s plans are complicated by the lack of an obvious replacement for Solskjaer, who has overseen successive defeats at Old Trafford, losing 5-0 to Liverpool and 2-0 to Manchester City.
Brendan Rodgers, Erik ten Hag and Mauricio Pochettino all have their admirers but are currently employed by Leicester City, Ajax and Paris Saint-Germain respectively. While United may consider Rodgers a potential target mid-season, it’s unlikely Ten Hag or Pochettino will be allowed to leave their current employers at this stage of the campaign.
Zinedine Zidane has been out of work since leaving Real Madrid but has shown little interest in the job and hasn’t been mentioned as a top-level candidate. Ralf Rangnick could emerge as a short-term solution, having previously been linked with a technical director at Old Trafford.
He’s held talks with the United board previously and might be available to take the reins until the end of the season, although he is currently head of football development at Lokomotiv Moscow.
The United players not involved in international action will have a short break at the start of this week before returning for training. Speaking after the defeat on Saturday, Solskjaer said the international break had arrived at a good time.
“We are human beings and when you lose a game of football there is no better feeling than winning a game. Hopefully, the ones that go away do that and for us it is all about Watford,” he said.
“We have to come out against Watford like a proper hurt animal. The short answer is it has come at a good time for us. As a group we have had a difficult spell, we have come through it but this was a big step backwards.”