It is currently the biggest news story in football, however certainly not the most surprising.

Jose Mourinho has finally parted ways with Manchester United, ending a turbulent season that has been covered greatly throughout the media.

While the timing of the decision was unexpected with a big period of football to come, there was a feeling that this decision inevitable at some point during the season.

There has been no confirmation about who replaces Mourinho, however former player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is likely to take charge, albeit in a caretaker role. Should Solskjaer impress in his tenure, he would be considered as United’s next appointment.

Who are some of the other candidates to replace Mourinho and take on one of the hardest jobs in football?

Zinedine Zidane has been a name that has been mentioned frequently as the next United boss. ‘Zizou’ won one La Liga title for Real Madrid as manager, however he guided the Spanish giants to three consecutive Champions League’s. A fantastic player, Zidane could take his managerial career to the next level and may be a good fit for United.

Antonio Conte is another manager that has been suggested for the United job. Conte recently won the Premier League with Chelsea in the 2016/17 season, along with his three Serie A titles. The Italian was only dismissed as Chelsea manager in July this year and would be eager to prove his doubters wrong. He certainly would not be the first Chelsea manager to join Manchester United.

Laurent Blanc is reportedly on United’s list to become their new manager. Blanc played for United from 2001 until 2003 and has been out of a managerial job since leaving PSG in 2016. Under the French manager, PSG won three consecutive Ligue 1 trophies, while he also guided Bordeaux to the summit of the league in the 2008/09 season. Blanc has been linked to a temporary role at United, however an improvement in the club’s form could see him announced as their permanent boss.

Leonardo Jardim is another name that has been suggested for the job. Jardim was sacked as manager of AS Monaco in October, after a poor start saw them battling relegation. Jardim did lead Monaco to the 2016/17 Ligue 1 title, while also leading the club to the semi-final of the Champions League. He is good with youth and his appointment would likely see younger players at United get first team football.

Massimiliano Allegri has previously been discussed as the next possible United manager. In November, he warmed to the idea of managing away from Italy and a move to Manchester may be a challenge that he would undertake. It has also been speculated that he might depart Juventus at the conclusion of the season. Allegri has won five Serie A titles at both Juventus and AC Milan and would be more than a suitable replacement.

While he may not be as big a name as those above, Roy Keane should be considered as the next United manager. Scottish manager Graeme Souness recently suggested that United should go after Keane, as Keane would be very familiar with the values and history of the club. Keane previously guided Sunderland to promotion to the Premier League, while he also managed Ipswich Town in the Championship. His managerial experience may be a limiting factor, however he would have the ability to create a highly disciplined side.

It is an interesting time for United fans, as the decision to appoint their next manager would have a big effect on the next few seasons. United have been nowhere near the level of the Sir Alex Ferguson reign, and with the rise of rivals Manchester City, they have not had any dominance in the city that they once owned. It is a big decision to come for the board and it is their chance to win back many disgruntled fans.

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Tim Sperliotis
tsperliotis@gmail.com