Manchester United search for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replacement at Old Trafford

The Football News Show: Who will be the next manager of Manchester United?

Michael Carrick was given no timescale and no certainty by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward when asked to step in as manager following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s dismissal.

It seems certain Carrick will remain in charge for Sunday’s trip to Premier League leaders Chelsea after overseeing Tuesday’s Champions League tie against Villarreal.

There are then four days until Arsenal visit Old Trafford on 2 December and by then some clarity will surely have emerged around what, to outsiders at least, appears a pretty confused picture.

BBC Sport analyses the factors United’s hierarchy are wrestling with as they seek to ultimately appoint a manager who can bring success back to the club.

Why do Manchester United want an interim boss?

In their statement confirming Solskjaer’s exit, United said they were looking to appoint an “interim manager” to the end of the season.

The wording suggests United accept their preferred choices may not be available until the summer as they are already in work and do not believe Carrick, who has never been a manager, is a viable option to hold the position for the rest of the campaign.

Yet the strategy feels complicated and inherently means the club would be appointing a manager on the basis they will leave within as few as six months when they have found someone better.

Only realists, or older managers possibly not seeking a permanent job, are likely to find that scenario attractive.

Steve Bruce has been mentioned but, despite being a former United skipper, his last months as Newcastle manager are unlikely to inspire optimism among fans – and United have plenty of time and incentive to turn this season around.

Some may wonder if Sir Alex Ferguson, with more pedigree than anyone in the game, could be a luxury stop-gap – but the reality is the Scotsman is now 79.

The names already mentioned for the role – former United defender Laurent Blanc and seasoned coach Ralf Rangnick – already have jobs.

Blanc is manager of Al Rayyan in Qatar, where the season continues until March. Rangnick is technical director at Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow, who admittedly do take a 10-week winter…

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