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Friday, December 3, 2021

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Steve McManaman casts doubt on Brendan Rodgers and Zidane as Man United bosses

Former Liverpool and England midfielder Steve McManaman believes Brendan Rodgers’ previous ties with Liverpool could stop him from succeeding Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United’s next manager.

Following Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester City at Old Trafford, Solskjaer is under enormous pressure and is understood to be increasingly at risk of losing his job.

United did consider sacking him in the aftermath of the 5-0 defeat to Liverpool just over a fortnight ago but the Norwegian remains in his post and is expected to take charge of the Watford clash on Saturday week.

Nevertheless, Solskjaer is treading on very thin ice and Leicester City manager Rodgers is the current favourite with the bookmakers to replace the 48-year-old, should United relieve him of his duties.

A lot of United supporters have earmarked Rodgers as someone they would like to replace Solskjaer, but McManaman believes the fact that the Northern Irishman has previously managed Liverpool could put pay him to making the switch to Old Trafford.

“I can’t see Brendan going there,” McManaman told Horseracing.net. “I think he’s got the credentials, yes, but I think his history with Liverpool would be too much for everybody.”

Former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is another who has been linked with the United post.

The Frenchman, who has been out-of-work since May, is currently the second favourite to become United’s next boss.

However, just like Rodgers, McManama — who played with Zidane during his four-year spell in Madrid — doesn’t think 49-year-old will be the man to succeed Solskjaer.

“I haven’t spoken to Zizou in a while but I don’t think he speaks English and I don’t know whether it’s a job that would appeal to him,” McManaman continued. ”

He leads a lovely lifestyle in Madrid and uprooting and coming to Manchester would be a big ask for him and his family.

“I think managing in France, in Paris, or at Juventus would be more in tune to Zizou.”

With McManaman all but ruling Rodgers and Zidane out of the running, the former England international has admitted that he would not be surprised to see the Reds to try their luck with Paris Saint-Germain chief Mauricio Pochettino.

He added: “It wouldn’t surprise me if Manchester United went back and got Mauricio Pochettino. Anyone who works at Paris Saint-Germain for a couple of years has normally had enough of it.

“And Poch would probably be the man because of his knowledge and experience of England and the Premier League.

“Brendan and Zizou are more than capable and they’ve got better CV’s than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. But Ole knows Man Utd and it looks as if the club are going to stick with him, certainly for the foreseeable future.”

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