MANCHESTER UNITED have stepped up their hunt for an interim manager to steady the ship until the end of this season – by drawing up a FIVE-MAN shortlist.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked on Sunday morning just hours after the 4-1 horror show at Watford.
Michael Carrick was immediately named interim boss and guided United to a solid 2-0 win at Villarreal to secure qualification to the Champions League last 16.
Old Trafford chiefs are chasing a full-time successor with Mauricio Pochettino and Zinedine Zidane the leading candidates.
But United won't hire either of the managerial giants until the summer and will instead look for another interim manager to take control until the end of the 2021-22 season.
While Carrick got off to a decent start, United want a big name manager to safely navigate the second half of the season.
The likes of Old Trafford legends Steve Bruce and Laurent Blanc have been mentioned – with the former's agent even rumoured to have made contact with the club.
But now United have drawn-up a five-strong shortlist with SunSport revealing who's in the frame.
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A SEASONED veteran of the coaching game, the German boss, 63, is credited as being one of the founding fathers of Gegenpress – the high-pressing style most-notably perfected by Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp.
In fact Klopp is one of his many disciples, with Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, Bayern's Julian Nagelsmann and Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl also huge fans.
Rangnick is currently working, but not in management – serving as head of sports and development at Lokomotiv Moscow.
The in-demand coach most recently managed at RB Leipzig in 2015-16 and 2018-19.
Rangnick has also led Bundesliga sides including Schalke, Hoffenheim, Hannover and Stuttgart down the years.
And United are believed to be keen to bring him back to the managerial hotseat as a big-name interim akin to Chelsea hiring Guus Hiddink in 2009 and again in 2015.
United football director John Murtough is claimed to have 'huge admiration' for Rangnick.
THE Spaniard, 57, hasn't worked for nearly TWO YEARS having been sacked by Barcelona in January 2020.
Valverde spent two-and-a-half seasons at the club having replaced now-Spain manager Luis Enrique.
He won two LaLiga tiles and one Copa del Rey crown but failed to win a Champions League trophy and was eventually replaced by Quique Setien.
Valverde – the 2015-16 LaLiga coach of the year – has previously also managed Athletic Bilbao, Valencia, Villarreal and Espanyol in Spain, as well as Greek giants Olympiacos.
The Daily Mail claim Valverde has already contacted Murtough over the role.
THE Swiss manager, 64 has been out of work for nearly a year following his Borussia Dortmund sacking in December 2020.
The former Nice and Borussia Monchengladbach chief was recently linked with the Crystal Palace job, but was beaten to the role by Patrick Vieira.
Favre is in the market for a new role and is believed to be interested in the United interim role.
THE Frenchman, 57, has seen his stock rise dramatically in recent years after helping Lyon reach the Champions League semi-finals in 2019-20.
Garcia's side even beat Manchester City before being beaten by eventual winners Bayern Munich.
The manager has also enjoyed spells at Marseille, Lille and Roma, among others.
And United see him as a potential short-term candidate to help the club finish the season strongly before moving on to Pochettino or Zidane.
THE Portuguese boss, 48, was recently linked with the vacant Newcastle position following Bruce's sacking.
But Fonseca was beaten to the punch by Eddie Howe.
Fonseca had taken charge of Roma between 2019 and 2021 before being replaced by Jose Mourinho.
Since then, the ex-Porto and Shakhtar Donetsk boss has been linked with Tottenham following Mourinho's sacking and the Toon.
But for now, Fonseca is still without a job and would likely be keen to make a name for himself in the Premier League, even if only as an interim boss.
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