Manchester United have approached former Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde as they look to appoint an interim manager following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s dismissal.
The Red Devils have been linked with several star names as they search for Solskjaer’s successor gathers pace, but a first-choice candidate appears to have been chosen.
According to news relayed by well-known journalist and transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, United chiefs have made contact with Valverde as they look for a short-term solution to their managerial vacancy.
He tweeted: “Manchester United board had a direct contact with former Barça manager Ernesto Valverde today, as per @JamieJackson___#MUFC. No decision made yet – he’s one of the five candidates in the list in case Mauricio Pochettino won’t be allowed to leave Paris Saint-Germain.”
Although the prospect of another interim manager is not something that will get too many United fans off their seats, the idea that such a well-respected and proven tactician is being lined up as his alternative should at least provide some form of comfort.
In fact, after hearing of the big twist that Pochettino might be more difficult to lure away from PSG, seeing Valverde linked with the club should have supporters rather pleased.
Considering Valverde’s success, he certainly seems like a very good option if the Red Devils cannot lure the Argentine back to England as feared. After claiming three league titles and two Greek Cups across two spells with Olympiacos and taking charge of over 300 games in the Athletic Bilbao dugout over two separate stints, Valverde got his big break as Barca boss back in 2017.
During his time in Catalonia, the 57-year-old guided the Blaugrana to consecutive La Liga titles and a Copa del Rey crown before being sacked in January 2020, but he’s been out of work ever since.
In Jamie Jackson’s original report, it’s claimed that Valverde has already held talks with football director John Murtough and that the Spaniard has begun identifying transfer targets ahead of the January window.
“It is understood Valverde has discussed with John Murtough, United’s football director, taking over on a temporary basis, with the club conscious that having worked with Lionel Messi at Barcelona he would be at ease managing Cristiano Ronaldo,” wrote Jackson.
“Valverde has started sounding out potential players he could add to strengthen the squad should he be appointed.”
Only time will tell if United and Valverde can agree terms on his temporary appointment, but supporters should view his arrival as the best of a bad situation.