Favre, Fonseca, Garcia, Rangnick & Valverde - the pros and cons of 5 coaches linked with Man Utd interim role

We take a look at what the five reported candidates would bring to Manchester United, should they be appointed until the end of the season.

Ralf Rangnick has been linked with the interim role at Manchester United. Credit: Getty.

As Manchester United’s search for a new manager continues, a report suggests the Red Devils have identified five potential candidates for the interim position.

In Sunday’s statement, when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked, United said: “Michael Carrick will now take charge of the team for forthcoming games, while the club looks to appoint an interim manager to the end of the season.”

Sign up to our ManchesterWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

As reported in the The Telegraph, the club has identified five names who could qualify for the role of interim manager: Lucian Favre, Paulo Fonseca, Rudi Garcia, Ralf Rangnick and Ernesto Valverde.

But what are the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates on United’s shortlist and how would they fit in at the club?

Lucien Favre last managed Borussia Dortmund. Credit: Getty.

Lucian Favre


The Swiss coach is considered a tactically-savvy manager and has been praised in the past for his ability to develop players, and for his attacking football. He likes his side to play on the counterattack, which suits United, while he has also previously spoken of the need for teams to play with different styles depending on the opposition.


While he’s done a great job at developing teams, he’s never pushed a side on to win a major trophy or title. At Dortmund, his reign ended negatively with the side falling far behind the leading German sides. He’s also never managed a club of United’s stature before.

Paulo Fonseca


As a Portuguese coach there would be a hope that he might foster a relationship with key players Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo. He also plays an expansive style and likes his team to dominate possession of the ball.

Fonseca actually lost over two legs to Manchester United last season in the Europa League semi-final. Credit: Getty.


Fonseca is linked with every major position that becomes available, but there’s a reason he’s been overlooked for the Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United and Aston Villa vacancies. He’s mainly managed in Portugal and the Premier League is a completely different beast, while his biggest role came with Roma in Italy, and it didn’t yield a great deal of success. Fonseca’s probably the least-qualified of the five reported candidates.

Rudi Garcia


A steady yet perhaps unremarkable candidate, the Frenchman has experienced success in his career with Lille, Roma and Marseille and has helped develop the team, something which is badly needed at Old Trafford. Garcia is a charismatic character who speaks English and works well with younger players.


The majority of his success came in the first half of the 2010s and he doesn’t have a good record in cup competitions, which represents United’s only viable hopes of gaining silverware this season. The Red Devils could also aim higher than a coach deemed surplus to requirements at Lyon less than six months ago.

Ralf Rangnick


Perhaps the most tactically astute of the five candidates, Rangnick is largely credited for the advances in pressing over the past decade and shaped the careers of Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel. The 63-year-old would completely overhaul United’s playing style, could help with the scouting network and may remain the interim role in a non-coaching capacity - and United desperately need a more holistic approach across the club. He also would be willing to ease the transition towards finding a new manager, as was the case at RB Leipzig.


Rangnick has moved more towards a Director of Football role in recent years and has coached a team in just one season over the last five years. He also won’t deviate from his principles of pressing, an area United have struggled with this season. His managerial career to date has mainly been in Germany and he’s the only candidate currently associated with a club.

Valverde led Barcelona to two league titles. Credit: Getty.

Ernesto Valverde


More than anyone else on this list, the Spaniard has experience dealing with big name-players and the pressures that come from managing one of the world’s biggest clubs, due to his time in charge at Barcelona. He also has experienced more recent success than the four other names on the list and tends to be well liked by his players.


Those Champions League collapses with Barcelona are a real stain on his record, and the European competition offers United real hope of silverware this term. He also wasn’t a popular figure at the Nou Camp with the supporters and his style of play isn’t as attractive as the other candidates. Valverde has also been out of management for nearly two years at this stage.