Manchester United have reportedly added Sevilla head coach Julen Lopetegui to the shortlist of their managerial targets ahead of the summer.
According to The Guardian, Manchester United are ramping up their efforts to appoint a new permanent manager at the end of the season and have added Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui to their list of potential targets.
Manchester United sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from the post of permanent manager last November. After briefly installing Michael Carrick in a caretaker capacity, the club brought in Ralf Rangnick on an interim basis until the end of the season. The German tactician will move onto a consultancy role once the ongoing campaign is over, while the Red Devils bring in a new permanent head coach.
The decision to hand Rangnick the reins of the team has come in for serious criticism as things have failed to improve a great deal under the former RB Leipzig manager and director. Manchester United have slipped out of the top four in the Premier League and were recently eliminated from the UEFA Champions League, meaning they will end a fifth consecutive season without any trophy.
So, Manchester United have a major decision heading into the summer and need to get the next managerial appointment spot on if they wish to not continue on their steep declining ways. There have been links with PSG head coach Mauricio Pochettino while AFC Ajax boss Erik ten Hag has also emerged as a strong contender.
The recent turmoil at Chelsea has also led to Manchester United considering Thomas Tuchel as a potential managerial candidate. And now, another name has been added to the shortlist in the form of Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui.
The Spaniard has been in charge of Sevilla since 2019 and has done a fine job so far. Lopetegui led Los Nervionenses to the UEFA Europa League triumph in the 2019/20 season and secured back-to-back top-four finishes in La Liga.
The Andalusian outfit have done one better this time out and are challenging Real Madrid for the league table, sitting above the likes of Atletico Madrid and Barcelona in the table. Before his job at Sevilla, Lopetegui had managed FC Porto and the Spanish national team. But his most high-profile job came in 2018 when he took charge of Real Madrid, although he was sacked within months of his appointment.
Lopetegui has redeemed himself since that failed stint at the Spanish capital club. And he could emerge as a strong contender for the Manchester United job, although Ajax’s ten Hag seems to be the popular option among ex-footballers and pundits. The 55-year-old Lopetegui has a contract with Sevilla that runs until 2024. It remains to be seen if Manchester United decide to go after him or look elsewhere.