Manchester United have reportedly added Gareth Southgate to their managerial shortlist, as fears grow over Mauricio Pochettino’s availability.
According to a report by Daily Telegraph, Gareth Southgate has emerged as the latest candidate to become the permanent Manchester United manager ahead of the 2019-20 season. The Red Devils are worried about the potential success of poaching Mauricio Pochettino from Tottenham, who will fight hard to keep hold of their manager.
Manchester United may have turned their fortunes around somewhat ever since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took charge as the caretaker boss last month. But, uncertainty continues to loom large around Old Trafford, with the fate of the soon-to-be vacant again managerial position hanging in the balance.
While Solskjaer has been mentioned as a possible option to become the permanent manager, depending on his performance in the final few months of the season, Molde are confident that the Norwegian will return to the club following the end of his tenure as interim boss at Old Trafford.
For Manchester United though, the priority is to appoint Mauricio Pochettino as their next permanent manager. The Argentine has been heavily linked with two of the biggest jobs in European football – Real Madrid and United – over the past year, although he has provided mixed suggestions over his possible availability in the summer.
His latest comments hint that he is committed to Tottenham, where he has over four years remaining on his current deal. Spurs too, are willing to battle hard to firmly hold on to the manager who has transformed them into genuine Premier League title contenders in recent seasons.
With that in mind, Manchester United are having to identify possible alternatives to the Argentine, who will have his audition at Wembley on Sunday, when Tottenham battle the Red Devils. And, England head coach Gareth Southgate has emerged as a possible option.
Southgate has the world at his feet presently, after guiding England to a shock fourth place finish at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, before also taking the National Side to the finals of UEFA Nations League, set to be played later this year.
Having initially been chalked off as a major gamble, the 48-year-old is now the darling of English football fans, which explains why his stock has soared. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that Manchester United have come calling for Southgate.
Landing Southgate though, could be a tall order as well, considering he is only midway through his project with the England National Side, and is contracted to them till after the 2022 World Cup.
Meanwhile, judging by the fortunes of managers who have translated from international football to club competitions, most recently Julen Lopetegui at Real Madrid, Manchester United should by wary of appointing Southgate, whose only experience at club level is an unsuccessful stint at Middlesbrough.
On the flip side, if he can manage to ride his wave of confidence, Southgate could become a resounding success at Old Trafford as well. As things stand though, the 48-year-old only remains at alternate option to Mauricio Pochettino, and it remains to be seen if Manchester United set their sights firmly on him, or if they are able to land the Argentine.