Manchester United v Liverpool match in pictures
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Manchester United are reportedly becoming hesitant at the idea of appointing former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte due to four key demands made by the Italian. Speculation around the Old Trafford hotseat has been intense this week following a dismal result for the Red Devils last time out.
Pressure on current boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reached an all-time high when bitter rivals Liverpool ran out 5-0 winners at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Boos at half-time, shambolic defending and a Paul Pogba red card capped off a truly shocking afternoon for United as hoards of fans headed prematurely for the exits.
The timing of the result could not have been worse as Leicester City triumphed 4-2 over Solskjaer’s side the previous weekend, and it required Cristiano Ronaldo heroics to overcome Atalanta last week.
While fans were jubilant at the dramatic 3-2 Champions League comeback, former star Paul Scholes was correctly pessimistic about his side’s chances against Liverpool.
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Although Solskjaer remains in charge, the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Mauricio Pochettino have been linked to the United job this week, while Conte’s name was right in the mix too.
United want a proven winner as their next boss and Conte is an ideal candidate given his Premier League success with Chelsea and recent exploits with Inter Milan.
However, The Daily Star claim that the United board are now losing interest due to the Italian’s requirements.
First of all, he will reportedly demand a lengthy contract until 2025 which pays him £18million per season.
Then, he would like to bring in his own backroom staff which would mean a lucrative severance package for Solskjaer and his entire coaching team.
His remaining demands lie in the transfer market where he would have to be guaranteed a defensive midfielder and a full-back to make his five-at-the-back system work.
With the Red Devils hierarchy supposedly taken aback, Conte has now slipped down the pecking order although he is not out of the running completely.
They may soon be called into action, however, if Solskjaer does not hoist United out of their torrid run of five defeats in their past nine games.
It allegedly took personal interventions from Sir Alex Ferguson and Cristiano Ronaldo to keep the dressing room onside for the coming games.
Reports indicate that Solskjaer will remain in charge for Saturday’s trip to Tottenham, where he will be given the chance to turn things around.
Thereafter, the Norwegian will be tasked with pulling out performances against Atalanta and local rivals Manchester City but will likely face the sack if results don’t go their way in their next three matches.
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