Ernesto Valverde: Man Utd hold first talks with the former Barcelona boss looking for an interim manager | Football news – Post World

Manchester United have held initial talks with Ernesto Valverde to continue their search for an interim manager until the end of the season.

Valverde is one of several potential candidates who spoke to United and it is understood that other prominent managers are within the scope of the role.

United is following a thorough process of appointing an interim chief after the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last week before beginning the search for a permanent successor.

The club are planning a permanent position at the end of the season and Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino is their first choice, with Ajax head coach Erik Ten Hag in mind.

United is not ruling out the possibility of a mid-season move for a permanent manager – even if they appoint an interim manager beforehand.

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Following PSG’s Champions League loss to Manchester City, Mauricio Pochettino has refused to “speak about the rumors” on speculation linking him to the vacant managerial position at Manchester United

The former Tottenham boss is believed to be interested in joining Old Trafford, although Pochettino said Monday he was “so happy” at PSG and won’t let United’s interest distract him from his current role .

Pochettino joined PSG in January and is under contract with the Ligue 1 club until summer 2023.

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Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino says he is “so happy” at the club, while speculations link him to being a manager at Manchester United

There are a number of high profile individuals United would consider long term if available.

The club wants to take the time to find the right person in the long term – with Interim as someone who can quickly bring stability and momentum for the rest of this season.

Valverde has been unemployed since his sacking from Barcelona – who was at the top of La Liga at the time – in January 2020.

The 57-year-old won two Spanish titles and the Copa del Rey during his two-and-a-half-year tenure at Nou Camp, and is a three-time Greek champion from his time at Olympiacos.

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United We Stand editor Andy Mitten says former Barcelona boss Valverde is a “talented manager” and “very unlucky” to be fired by the Spanish giants

Valverde has also coached Athletic Bilbao, Villarreal, Valencia and Espanyol, all of which he made the 2007 UEFA Cup final.

United are also interested in Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag, who, according to sources, is “100 percent” interested in replacing Solskjaer.

Brendan Rodgers is another name that has been linked to the United job despite the fact that the former Liverpool boss tried to distance himself from those reports on Wednesday.

Rodgers, who has been in charge of Leicester since February 2019, said: “I am committed to this club and this team. It’s about the development of the players we have.

“The speculations don’t cross my mind. I respect you [reporters] have questions to ask. It doesn’t include me. “

Solskjaer was sacked by United on Sunday after just under three years at Old Trafford.

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Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag says he was not contacted by Manchester United about the manager’s vacancy but he feels flattered to be associated with the Premier League club

His last game was a 4-1 beating against Watford on Saturday that left United eighth in the Premier League, 12 points behind leaders Chelsea after 12 games.

Analysis: what would Valverde bring?

Sky Sports Gerard Brand:

When Ernesto Valverde took over from Luis Enrique as Barcelona coach in 2017, many questions were raised.

The biggest criticism was Valverde’s style of play: pragmatic, overly cautious and extremely dependent on individual brilliance. Given United’s obvious talent and the need to save the season – the top 4 are a minimum – that might fit in nicely.

Domestically, he won most of what was presented to him at Barca, but there have been some disastrous European nights during his two and a half years on the job, notably the Roma breakdown in the 2018 Champions League and then Liverpool in 2019.

Ernesto Valverde
Valverde has won two La Liga titles in Barcelona

Ultimately, those nights and lack of aesthetics led to his being sacked in January 2020 after losing to Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Supercup. The bad feeling was so great that he was booed every time he was shown on screen during his last game.

In terms of results, his score per game (2.23) was an improvement over Tata Martino (2.22), Quique Setien (2.08), Ronald Koeman (1.96) and Frank Rijkaard (1.99), but in the eyes of Barca’s board and fans, they lagged behind Luis Enrique (2.41), Tito Vilanova (2.39) and Pep Guardiola (2.36).

He has been accused by fans of being a ‘yes man’ for the Barca board, but he has experience of short-term mending jobs.

In December 2012, he replaced the sacked Mauricio Pellegrino in Valencia and won 14 of the last 24 LaLiga games.

As it sounds, Valverde would be interested. “The idea of ​​going abroad is attractive: something else,” he said in an interview with The Observer in June. When asked if this could mean England, he said: “Could be. I wouldn’t mind trying it out. You get the feeling that you have respect for the game there. “

Poch is “so happy” at PSG and will ignore Man Utd’s “rumors”

Speaking in Manchester ahead of PSG’s Champions League game in Manchester City, Mauricio Pochettino said:

“I’m concentrated. I am very focused on football. I’m not a kid, I’ve spent my whole life playing football and now, in my twelfth year as a coach, we’re in a rumored business. I understand what is. ” continues.

“Something like that can’t be distracting. There are rumors that we have to live with that. We are so focused and give 100 percent to get our best out of the club and the players. I am so happy at Paris Saint-Germain because tomorrow we will be so focused on getting the best possible results. “

Carrick: United players showed their character with Villarreal win

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Michael Carrick says Manchester United’s 2-0 win at Villarreal isn’t about him

Michael Carrick believes the Manchester United players showed their character when they drew a 2-0 win over Villarreal in their first game since Solskjaer’s sack on Sunday.

Late goals by Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho – his first for the club – sent United as group winners in the Champions League round of 16 – after Atalanta’s 3-3 draw against the Young Boys later in the evening – and lifted the mood after a gloomy mood some weeks.

Carrick, who has temporarily taken first-team lead, could boast that the introduction of Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford into the 66

“The result is obviously a huge plus from our run – we can’t hide that,” said Carrick. “Making the players feel like they were winning a football game is huge and keeping a clean sheet was again important to David (de Gea) so there are a lot of positives overall.

“The biggest [positive] I guess how everyone has adjusted, the reaction and how they pulled together.

“In situations like this, there are mixed feelings. It’s a test for people and you find out who the real characters are, who is with you and who is not. I thought everyone would stick together, which supports me and my employees, and we achieved the victory, which is very gratifying. It was a big one. “

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