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Ernesto Valverde is available after leaving Barcelona in January 2020

Ernesto Valverde: Man Utd hold initial talks with former Barcelona boss as they search for interim manager

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Manchester United have held initial talks with Ernesto Valverde as they continue their search for an interim manager to take charge until the end of the season.

Valverde is one of a number of potential candidates to have spoken with United, and it is understood other prominent managers are in the frame for the role.

United are conducting a thorough process to appoint an interim boss following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last week.

The club are planning to make a permanent appointment at the end of the season and Mauricio Pochettino is their first choice.

United are also not ruling out the possibility of making a move for the Paris Saint-Germain head coach during the current campaign.

It is understood the former Tottenham boss would be interested in moving to Old Trafford, though Pochettino said on Monday he is “so happy” at PSG and will not allow United’s interest to distract him from his current role.

Pochettino joined PSG in January and is contracted to the Ligue 1 club until the summer of 2023.

Valverde has been out of work since being sacked by Barcelona – who were top of La Liga at the time – in January 2020.

The 57-year-old won two Spanish titles and the Copa del Rey during his two-and-a-half-year spell at the Nou Camp, while he is also a three-time Greek champion from his time with Olympiakos.

Valverde has also managed Athletic Bilbao, Villarreal, Valencia and Espanyol, who he took to the UEFA Cup final in 2007.

United are also interested in Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag, who sources have said would be “100 per cent interested” in replacing Solskjaer.

The Norwegian was sacked by United on Sunday after just under three years in charge at Old Trafford.

His final game was a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Watford on Saturday that left United eighth in the Premier League, 12 points behind leaders Chelsea after just 12 games.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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