Now that David Moyes has finally departed the Old Trafford hot seat after seemingly weeks of endless speculation regarding his tenure in the job, Manchester United must now focus on securing a replacement. Yet that task may be driven by their immediate vision as to whether they hire an experienced manager to provide short-term stability or seek a younger person with responsibility to oversee a rebuilding process in the longer term.
Netherlands coach Louis Van Gaal has been strongly linked with the vacant post and has been likened to Sir Alex Ferguson with his abrasive style of management. Yet his success rate in recent seasons has not been great and at 62 years of age, it is difficult to imagine him being employed on a lengthy contact unless he could be persuaded to engage Ryan Giggs as his assistant while trying to regain Champions League football for the club.
Similarly, the experienced Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid may be approached but after an eight year spell at AC Milan, he has since moved to three European clubs without suggesting any long term commitment and he may be reluctant to work with an enforced backroom staff.
There is also the possibility that Manchester United might seek a foreign based manager with a recent history of success and who may wish to grasp the long term challenge of reviving the fortunes of the first team.
Jurgen Klopp has been mentioned in this respect. He has won the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund then narrowly failed to win the Champions League during the following season and at 46 years old is the correct age for a long-term appointment. Reports from Germany suggest that he is not interested in the post, but with Bayern Munich apparently set to dominate the Bundesliga for the foreseeable future, some gentle persuasion could persuade the enthusiastic English speaking manager to join the Premier League club.
One name barely receiving a mention is the Juventus boss Antonio Conti who is set to steer the Turin club to their third successive Serie A title. He learned his trade in the second tier of Italian football but has yet to experience any success in European football, although this problem may be attributable to the recent demise of the Italian clubs in European Competition.
Laurent Blanc has also been mentioned as a possibility and has achieved success with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in a rather poor French domestic league, but his team only narrowly failed to earn a Semi-Final berth in this season’s Champions League. There have been indications that the job does not interest him but as a former Manchester United player, he ticks the right boxes.
Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone is threatening the dominance of Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spanish football and may relish the opportunity of Premier League football. He has also experienced success on the European stage and an appointment may also lead to the much coveted striker Diego Costa following his current boss.
It will certainly be an interesting few days or weeks as United seek a candidate who will attract the appropriate calibre of player to the club, but the Old Trafford hierarchy must first establish the correct criteria on which to base their selection.
They cannot afford another mistake.