While Louis van Gaal seems to have weathered the storm for now and remains in charge of Manchester United, thoughts should already be turned to who will replace him if he leaves in the summer or at the end of his contract.
While Jose Mourinho sits eagerly waiting by the phone for Ed Woodward to call, many believe it is a phone call that will never come.
United appear to have ruled out Mourinho or they are taking a risk in hoping Mourinho will be available if and when they decide to dispense with Van Gaal. Pep Guardiola seemingly has a host of clubs chasing him, with his decision to come to the Premier League next season.
According to widespread rumours, Guardiola has already chosen Manchester City as his next destination. This limits United’s options when Van Gaal eventually goes.
It is believed Manchester United’s plan has been for Ryan Giggs to take over the reigns after Van Gaal brings the curtain down on his Old Trafford career. It is a massive job for any manager in taking over at United. Sir Alex struggled in his first years at United. David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal have both found it tough too.
Giggs is a United legend and forever will be so at United. The United job will come too soon for Giggs and perhaps he will be more suited to staying on in his assistant’s role for the time being and work alongside the next manager. While many names have been mentioned, Manchester United would seemingly prefer to go with a United legend and keep the job within the club. The man they should be after is Mark Hughes.
The idea of a former Manchester City manager coming to manage United may not sound too appealing to the Old Trafford faithful, but this is Hughes, a legend at the club. Having played for top clubs in United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Chelsea amongst others he brings a wealth of experience. He has also been a manager for a long time and has done very well with many believing he was unlucky to get the chop at City. He has had many jobs in the Premier League and with the reputation he’s built up he is always in demand.
The work he has done so far at Stoke City has been remarkable. He faced a tough job in taking over from Tony Pulis and in changing everyone’s opinion of Stoke City and their style of play. He has changed their style, brought in quality players, who, in fairness, should be at a higher level than Stoke City. He only missed out on a League Cup final appearance at Wembley due to a penalty shootout loss, which would have been an incredible achievement had it not been for Liverpool standing in Stoke’s way.
Hughes has been associated with Manchester United since the 1980s and in his two spells at Old Trafford he has earned his reputation as a United legend. The idea of a Hughes-Giggs partnership at Old Trafford should be appealing to the vast majority of Manchester United fans and Hughes deserves another shot at managing a top English club.
Hughes and Giggs go way back with their time together at United. They also both played with the Wales national side. Having both Welshmen at Old Trafford could prove a useful tool in luring Gareth Bale to Manchester United too.
The possibility of linking up with two Wales legends could be too much to turn down, should Bale decide to leave Spain. The chance to learn from them both and especially for Bale to work with and learn from Giggs has to be an advantage over other clubs chasing him.
Chelsea are rumoured to be be interested in Hughes’s services as they search for Mourinho’s replacement. Big clubs are starting to take notice of Hughes again and United should, at the very least, consider him.
Damien McEvoy, Pundit Arena
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