In their search for a new permanent manager, Manchester United have reportedly spoken to the representatives of Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was named as United’s interim manager following the dismissal of Jose Mourinho, and the Red Devils will decide on a new permanent boss at the end of the season. Tottenham Hotspur’s Mauricio Pochettino has been heavily linked with the job, whilst England manager Gareth Southgate has also been touted as a candidate for the role.
However, according to the Mirror, United officials fear they will not be able to convince Pochettino to join the club, and they have begun discussions with Simeone as they seek to establish whether he would be interested in the position.
Simeone is currently discussing a new contract with Atletico, as his deal has just 18 months left to run. United feel Simeone could be available, and they want to explore all their options for the end of the season.
Pochettino is still the team’s preferred candidate, but United are aware that they may not be able to secure a deal for the Tottenham boss.
Chairman Daniel Levy is said to have demanded £50m from United if they want to sign Pochettino, which has forced United to consider an alternative strategy.
During his time with Atletico, Simeone has established himself as one of the world’s leading managers. He managed to guide Los Rojiblancos to the La Liga title ahead of Barcelona and Real Madrid in 2014, and has also led his side to two Champions League finals since 2013.
Solskjaer is also being considered for the permanent role, with both players and club officials said to be impressed with the Norwegian’s impact in the team’s recent run of form.
In his first game in charge, Solskjaer’s side earned an impressive 5-1 victory over Cardiff City, and the Red Devils have since earned wins over Bournemouth, Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United, as well as an FA Cup victory over Reading.