Roberto Mancini is reportedly a surprise feature for Manchester United on their list of potential replacements for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should he eventually be sacked, claim reports. Solskjaer’s future was a hot topic earlier this month prior to a 3-1 win at Everton, which alleviated some pressure on the Norwegian.
United have only won three of seven matches to start the Premier League season, failing to win any of their four home games, and suffered a heavy 6-1 defeat to Tottenham.
Such disappointment was offset by success in Europe against Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig before a humiliating Champions League group stage loss to Istanbul Basaksehir.
That has seen a raft of speculation surrounding Solskjaer’s Old Trafford position with former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino still a free agent and keen to return to work.
Solskjaer is in no immediate threat of losing his job but external pressure could crank back up if United fail to put together some consistent form and find themselves out of the Champions League picture in the early New Year.
And new reports from Italian outlet Tuttosport claim that Mancini is on United’s shortlist should Solskjaer lose his job in the near future.
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The 55-year-old currently manages the Italian national team having lost just two of 26 matches since taking over from Gian Piero Ventura after the failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Italy have booked their spot at the Euros under Mancini and face Turkey, Wales and Switzerland in Group A.
But United may well look to prise the Italian away from his current role before then if things don’t work out with Solskjaer.
It would be a controversial appointment though given his past with City, where he is rightly held in great regard.
City won their first league title for 44 years with Mancini at the helm in that iconic final day win over Queens Park Rangers which denied Sir Alex Ferguson’s United the title.
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Mancini has only ever had a longer spell at Inter Milan, who he has managed in two stints, when he spent four years at the San Siro between 2004 and 2008.
The three-time Serie A-winning manager was at City for four years and their FA Cup triumph in 2011 against United at Wembley ended the hunt for a first trophy since 1976.
Tuttosport say Mancini is on a shortlist alongside Pochettino and Max Allegri, the former AC Milan and Juventus manager.
Juve were said to have been looking at Mancini before they appointed former midfielder Andrea Pirlo with his work with the national team impressing.
United are reportedly making noises that they could approach him if Solskjaer is sacked, while Paris Saint-Germain are another club who rate Mancini.
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But Tuttosport say the ex-City manager would have little interest in leaving his current role because he is settled as the Italy boss.
Mancini is under contract until 2022 after extending his deal with the Azzurri last year and will lead his country into the Euros and the next World Cup in Qatar.
After the win over Everton, former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy implored United to keep the faith with Solskjaer, who took the Red Devils to a third-placed finish last season.
He wrote for the Daily Mail: “That was a Manchester United performance of players fighting for their manager, a superb display from start to finish and a great response to a lot of criticism.
“There are various ways to look at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure. Lots of numbers. Lots of opinions. I’ve read plenty of those in the past week.
“I am never really in the boat that you should be getting rid of a manager this early in the season.
“He has made his signings, he knows the players and how well they finished last season has given him credit in the bank. United should not make any rash decisions.
“A result like this, a tough win at Everton, will give them confidence for after the international break when United have some less daunting fixtures coming up, albeit in a short space of time.
“It has been the inconsistency of the team that has been so bizarre. Great results followed so quickly by bad ones, then good ones again.
“That is not what normally happens with big clubs. But from what I saw at Goodison Park, every player put in a shift. And we’ve not always been able to say that this season.”
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