Gary Neville joins Roy Keane in calls for Man Utd to make “brutal” manager choice

Manchester United are in the process of naming their next manager, with interim boss Ralf Rangnick set to take on a two-year consultancy role at the end of the season

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Ralf Rangnick reviews Atletico Madrid defeat

Gary Neville has urged Manchester United to break the bank and hire Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone as their next permanent boss.

The Red Devils have started the “thorough process” which will see the fifth permanent successor to Sir Alex Ferguson named later this year. Ralf Rangnick was appointed as interim boss following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with the German set to take up a consultancy role for the next two seasons.

But all eyes are on who will replace the experienced German in the Old Trafford dugout as United stand at another major crossroads in their recent history. Having been dumped out of the Champions League in midweek, they are now set for their biggest trophy drought in 40 years – with their last major honour, the Europa League, coming all the way back in 2017.

Their decline from England’s top club has been further exacerbated by the fact that it’s United’s rivals Liverpool and Manchester City that have emphatically replaced them. The two clubs are set to go head-to-head for another Premier League title this term, while they could yet meet in the Champions League final in Paris later this year.

The respective jobs Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have done with their current teams have highlighted the need for United to get their next appointment right, having put together a litany of misses since Ferguson’s retirement in 2013. It is believed that PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino and Ajax boss Erik ten Hag are the leading contenders, while there has been some speculation they could launch an ambitious approach for Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel.

But United legend Neville believes Simeone – who masterminded Atletico’s Old Trafford victory in midweek – has the personality to pull the club up by its bootstraps and put them back into contention.

Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid beat Man Utd at Old Trafford earlier this week



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“‘Diego Simeone should be a candidate, but it’s never been achievable to get him out of Atletico Madrid,” he told Sky Sports. “He is wedded in there, he is tied. But it would be brilliant to see him in the Premier League, you saw on Tuesday night, I’ve seen it many times – I got beaten 2-0 in Valencia by his brilliant Atletico Madrid team that Griezmann was in before he went to Barcelona.

“Fantastic coach, brutal in how he approaches the game, I think in every single way. He’s tough, and Manchester United need a tough manager. Manchester United need a manager who can compete with Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola – they’re the best, so they need someone who can stand on that touchline and feel equal to them and I think Simeone could.

He added: “I wouldn’t rule Simeone out at all, but I think Ten Hag and Pochettino would be the way forward because they’ll want a progressive coach that plays a certain way, that probably is a little bit cheaper and available. I don’t know how much it would cost to get Simeone out of Atletico Madrid, but Manchester United would have to pay big money.”

Gary Neville and Roy Keane have both recommended Simeone for the top job at Man Utd


Sky Sports)

And Neville isn’t the first United great to recommend the combative Argentine for the top job at the club, with Roy Keane also putting his name forward to replace Rangnick this summer. Simeone, 51, has been with Atletico for more than a decade, winning two LaLiga titles, two Europa Leagues and reaching the Champions League final twice, but speaking earlier this year, Keane felt that now may be the right time for him to leave the Spanish capital.

“Maybe Simeone, he’s the right kind of character. He’s having a difficult spell with Atletico. His race has maybe run with them,” he said last month. “Simeone, go and get him, he’s a big character. He’s done great things. He’s a great character, a big personality. He doesn’t mess around with players. Maybe someone like him coming into the club, could work.

“It can soon change. I don’t think it’s all doom and gloom, there’s still good things going on at United, but they’ve got to get the manager. If the manager is not right, then the rest will just fall apart.”

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