Gary Neville suggests “brutal” option missing from Man Utd’s five-man manager shortlist

Manchester United are on the hunt for their next permanent manager and are believed to have compiled a five-man shortlist, but Gary Neville has noted one glaring omission

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Manchester United v Atletico Madrid: Pictures

Gary Neville believes Diego Simeone should be considered for the Manchester United job. The Red Devils are currently looking for their next permanent manager, with interim boss Ralf Rangnick set to start a two-year consultancy gig in the summer.

Simeone led Atletico Madrid to a famous 1-0 victory at Old Trafford on Tuesday – knocking United out of the Champions League – and has won eight trophies during his 10-year spell in the Spanish capital, including two La Liga titles.

Reports on Thursday afternoon suggested United have compiled a five-man shortlist for their next manager: Ajax’s Erik ten Hag, Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino, Spain’s Luis Enrique, Sevilla’s Julen Lopetegui and Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel.

Yet Neville thinks his former employers should’s rule out the idea of appointing Simeone just yet. “Diego Simeone should be a candidate, but it’s never been achievable to get him out of Atletico Madrid,” Neville 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 [Antoine] 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 Man Utd need a tough manager. Man Utd 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.

Gary Neville believes Manchester United should consider appointing Diego Simeone



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“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 Man Utd would have to pay big money.”

Atletico are the defending La Liga champions but enduring a tricky campaign. They’re currently fourth in La Liga, just two points ahead of Real Betis in fifth. Local rivals Real Madrid are the runaway leaders at the top, sitting 10 points clear of Sevilla in second.

Speaking last month, Roy Keane highlighted Simeone as a good candidate for the United job. “You go and get the manager you want,” said the ex-captain. “You should go and get the right manager you think is right for your club.

“People say, ‘Oh, somebody’s tied up with a club.’ But if you really want a manager – and that’s what it’s like when you really want a player – you go and get him. Never mind making excuses saying he’s not available for two years. You pay fortunes for players, so why not a manager? I don’t care who’s under contract; if you think he’s the right manager for Man Utd, well you go and get him. You go and pay the money whoever it might be. They’ve got to go and get the right manager.”

When asked for his preferred choice, Keane said: “Maybe Simeone, he’s the right kind of character. He’s having a difficult spell with Atletico. His race has maybe run with them. Simone, 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.”

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