Man United didn't think their stars could adapt to Conte's style

EXCLUSIVE: Man United’s board didn’t think their stars could adapt to Antonio Conte’s style, they fear a lack of leaders in the squad – and Ralf Rangnick ISN’T on their three-man list for the full-time job

  • Man United decided against an approach for Antonio Conte due to his style 
  • The Italian was out of work when  Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was struggling at United 
  • German Ralf Rangnick was later appointed interim manager at Old Trafford  
  • But the 63-year-old will not continue as United’s manager beyond May 
  • Mauricio Pochettino, Erik Ten Hag and Brendan Rodgers are under consideration
  • The club’s board also have a concern that the Red Devils’ squad lacks leaders 

Manchester United decided against an approach for Premier League winner Antonio Conte after deciding his style of precise and exact micro-coaching would not be suited to the players at Old Trafford.

Conte – who won the title with Chelsea in 2017 – was out of work at the start of the winter as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struggled at United. The 52-year-old eventually joined Tottenham in November.

United sacked Solskjaer soon after and replaced him with interim coach Ralf Rangnick but it is understood that the club’s football department took a long look at Conte before deciding not to make a move.


Man United decided against an approach for Antonio Conte (left) before appointing interim boss Ralf Rangnick (right)

Sources at United have told Sportsmail that Conte is recognised as a great coach but one whose demands on players to carry out minute and exact instructions may have proved unsuited to the squad at Old Trafford.

A United source said: ‘If Conte tells a player to do six things then he wants to see them do all six immediately. 

‘He wants to be able to programme players to the minute details. We were not sure that was a great fit for us.’

United sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (pictured) not long after Tottenham hired Conte

Sources told Sportsmail  Conte is recognised as a great coach but was unsuited for the club

Rangnick is now six games in to his spell at United and is yet to bring about significant improvement. His team lost at home to Wolves in the Premier League on Monday.

United have faith in the German and he will definitely be invited to take on a two-year consultancy at the season’s end even if his own results have not been great by then.

At Old Trafford there is an acceptance that Rangnick can only exert so much authority over United’s players given that they know he will not be their manager beyond May. 

Rangnick can only exert so much authority over United’s players given his temporary status

More worryingly, United’s board have a concern that the squad, in common with some other clubs, lacks leaders. This is something they plan to address in the transfer market summer.

Discussions over Solskjaer’s long-term successor are ongoing with former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino and Ajax coach Erik Ten Hag under consideration as well as Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers. Rangnick himself is not a prominent candidate.

Meanwhile, United confirmed today that Richard Arnold will step up to succeed outgoing executive vice chairman Ed Woodward at the end of the month. 

Man United confirmed that Richard Arnold will replace chief Ed Woodward on February 1 

Arnold has worked underneath Woodward as Group Managing Director the last eight years. He will now become CEO.

Woodward resigned at the time plans for a European Super League collapsed last April but has been continuing in the role until a successor was appointed.

Woodward, 50, will now seek another job in football and has not ruled out working for another club.




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