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Antonio Conte is the odds-on favourite to become the next Manchester United manager with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reportedly given three games to save his job.
Solskjaer is facing increasing pressure after United were thrashed 5-0 by Liverpool at the weekend, the defeat to their rivals follows a string of poor performances that has led many to wonder if another manager would get more out of the squad.
According to the Daily Mirror, Solskjaer will still be United manager for their game against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday but it could be the start of his final week in charge at Old Trafford if he doesn’t turn things around.
Following the Spurs game is a crucial midweek Champions League fixture against Atalanta before United face rivals Manchester City in what could be Solskjaer’s last match as manager.
It’s a tough run of fixtures for a manager facing the prospect of losing his job if things don’t improve quickly.
When it comes to potential replacements, Conte is the obvious choice for United as a top class manager with a history of winning titles who is currently out of work and interested in the position.
He ticks many of the boxes that United would be looking for in a manager, though there are some doubts over his fiery fallings out with the hierarchies of clubs he’s previously worked at.
Conte’s last stint in the Premier League was with Chelsea, where he won the title in his first season and picked up the FA Cup in his second.
He’s also enjoyed great success in his native Italy, winning four Serie A titles during stints at Juventus and Inter Milan.
The bookies' favourite to take the job, PaddyPower have Conte at 8/11 to replace Solskjaer putting him far ahead of closest rivals Brendan Rodgers (6/1) and Zinedine Zidane (9/1).
The Italian’s chances of becoming the next United manager will be helped by Rodgers history as a former Liverpool manager and his recently committing his future to Leicester City, while Zidane does not appear very interested in the job.
Other candidates tipped for the job include Ajax manager Erik ten Hag and PSG head coach Mauricio Pochettino, each 11/1 to succeed Solskjaer but both likely difficult to prise away from their clubs in the middle of the season.
By contrast, Conte is a free agent after leaving Inter Milan in the wake of their Serie A title win and per The Guardian is open to discussing taking the reins at Old Trafford if United part ways with Solskjaer.
There is still the possibility that Solskjaer pulls a series of good results out of the bag and saves his job or that United simply decide to wait until later in the season to make their decision.
The club waited until Champions League qualification was mathematically impossible before sacking David Moyes or Louis van Gaal.
Jose Mourinho, Solskjaer’s immediate predecessor, was not given the same amount of time in his final season at Old Trafford but he still lasted until December before getting fired.
Odds are correct at the time of publication and are, as always, subject to change.
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