It seems Manchester United’s pursuit of a new manager has not lost any steam, even as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer puts his undefeated Manchester United record on the line Sunday.
The Red Devils have been linked with two more names this weekend, one a long-time whisper and the other a bit of a surprise.
The Daily Mirror reports that Diego Simeone has been “sounded out” by United’s brass, with 18 months left on his Atletico Madrid contract and La Liga’s mainstays actively seeking to extend his 7-year reign in Spain.
And United is also considering England boss Gareth Southgate as an option, according to Sky Sports, touting the manager’s acumen in developing young players and strong reputation in the soccer community.
The two options could hardly be more different, or less likely. Simeone is a no-brainer for literally any open job on Earth, while Southgate’s flower has just bloomed and is merely a prospect having held one Premier League job at the club level.
Simeone is a master tactician capable of leading an aggressive attack, but more likely to err on the side prudent of than free-flowing at all costs, especially in big matches.
A fireball on the sidelines, Simeone also has a resume reputation few managers can touch. He won La Liga during the Ronaldo-Messi era in 2013-14, twice claimed the Europa League, has won the Copa del Rey, and was a two-time Champions League runner-up all while dealing with sales of Theo Hernandez, Arda Turan, Mario Mandzukic, Sergio Aguero, Diego Costa, and David De Gea (who has since returned).
As for Southgate, his reputation has grown in a big way since leading England to the 2018 World Cup semifinal and the inaugural UEFA Nations League knockout rounds. He has unrivaled job security in terms of the Three Lions job, having led England’s U-21 to the Toulon Tournament title and helped developed many of their stars.
But his club experience as a manager is less impressive, winning 29 percent of his games at Middlesbrough over three seasons. He led Boro to 12th, 13th, and 19th place Premier League finishes, and left the relegated club in its first season during the Championship.
Southgate would still, of course, be an attractive option.