Speculation over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s future at Manchester United is rife once again following his side’s feeble 2-0 defeat to bitter rivals Manchester City on Saturday. The Red Devils were totally outplayed by their neighbours from across town, with the gulf in class between the two teams evident for all to see.
Patience with Solskjaer among the Old Trafford faithful is wearing thin, and talk is already beginning to turn as to who the Norwegian’s successor could be if he is sacked in the coming weeks.
Antonio Conte had appeared one of the favourites to take the hotseat, but he has now been snapped up by Tottenham. The likes of Brendan Rodgers and Mauricio Pochettino have also been mentioned as possibilities, but recently a more obscure name has been in the headlines.
According to German publication Bild, former Schalke and RB Leipzig boss Ralf Rangnick, who was first linked with United two years ago, is still ‘interested’ in a role if an opportunity becomes available.
Now head of sports and development at Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow, Rangnick would bring a wealth of experience with him, and could potentially be a stop-gap manager before moving into a different job behind the scenes at United.
It would certainly be an intriguing change of direction for United, and speaking in 2019 the 63-year-old gave his opinion as to where the English giants have been going wrong in the last few seasons.
He told The Times: “Since Sir Alex [Ferguson] left they were underperforming. They haven’t won the title since he left. At any club, if you cannot get the right players, then you should at least not sign the wrong ones.
“You are in trouble if you do that in one or two or three consecutive transfer windows.
“Club building is about building the right squad by transferring the right players away and having more than 50 per cent success rate of bringing in the right players. Then you must have the best possible coaches to develop these players.”
Rangnick certainly sounds like a man who knows what he is talking about, and United fans will without doubt be in agreement that the club’s transfer policy has been far from perfect of late.
The likes of Donny van de Beek and Jadon Sancho have recently been brought in for huge amounts of money, but neither have yet shown their true potential as they continue to struggle for game-time.
Meanwhile, United have also been unable to shift plenty of their deadwood, with the likes of Jesse Lingard and Phil Jones still earning big wages but not contributing much on the pitch.
Whether or not the powers that be turn to Rangnick remains to be seen, but it is becoming blindingly clear to almost everyone but them that a big change is needed sooner rather than later.
United’s defeat to City means they are now nine points behind league leaders Chelsea already, with their hopes of winning major silverware this season seemingly slipping away.
They also face a battle to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages, and are level on points with Villarreal and only two above Atalanta with two games to play in Group F.
There is now an international break before their next game against Watford in the Premier League on November 20, which will give the likes of Ed Woodward and the Glazers plenty of time to discuss Solskjaer’s future.