Manchester United v Liverpool match in pictures
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Antonio Conte is “ready to talk” to Manchester United should they decide to begin the search for a new manager, a source close to the Italian has told Express Sport. Talks regarding the future of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford are understood to have taken place at boardroom level on Monday afternoon in the aftermath of Sunday’s humiliating 5-0 home defeat to Liverpool on Sunday.
There are now huge doubts as to whether Solskjaer will be in charge of this weekend’s trip to Tottenham given the alarming nature of his side’s calamitous display as they were ruthlessly put to the sword by their bitter rivals.
Furthermore, while recent results – albeit poor – have not yet made Solskjaer’s position untenable, his future has now been placed under immediate threat following an accumulation of underwhelming and concerning performances, which derive from the squad’s lack of cohesion on the field.
The United hierarchy are expected to continue carefully discussing their next move but former Chelsea boss Conte, has now made it known he’d be ready to consider the position.
A source close to Conte’s camp has now confirmed to Express Sport that he is ready to answer the phone and at least discuss the prospect of taking over at United after a five-month break from management.
Conte walked out on Inter Milan back in May after guiding them to the Serie A title following a series of disagreements with the board regarding the club’s debt and financial issues off the field.
His recent track record and history of stubbornness, which also includes the deterioration of his relationship with the Chelsea hierarchy the season after winning the Premier League title in his debut campaign, poses huge question marks about his capability of maintaining a professional relationship with the Glazers while working under the club’s current imperfect infrastructure.
But, crucially, he is currently available and his appointment would not involve any form of compensation fee – much like Zinedine Zidane.
In an ideal world, Conte would prefer to wait until the end of the season to jump into his next challenge but in the case of United, he would be willing to make an exception.
Conte held extensive talks with Tottenham earlier this summer before withdrawing his interest in the position, while Spurs briefed it was the club that walked away from the table.
The majority of those talks took place through Conte’s representatives, who are likely to be tasked with handling any formal discussions with United.
As of late Monday afternoon, Express Sport understands United were yet to reach out to Conte but reports in Italy are now suggesting that initial contact has been made.
United rewarded Solskjaer with a new three-year contract back in July after he guided the club to a second-place finish in the Premier League last season, meaning he would be due a substantial pay-off if the Red Devils decided to pull the trigger.
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