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27th Mar 2024

Manchester United lining up current Premier League manager for ‘role in coaching set-up’

Niall McIntyre

Manchester United are reportedly interested in bringing Wolves manager Gary O’Neil to Old Trafford in a coaching capacity.

The rumour-mill has been in full flight ever since Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos group took charge of football operations at Man United and O’Neil is reportedly their latest target.

Having cut his teeth as interim manager of Bournemouth, who he guided to Premier League safety in the 2022/2023 season, O’Neil subsequently took over as Wolverhampton Wanderers manager at the beginning of this season.

Wolves endured a trying start to the League with a couple of controversial decisions going against them but have since climbed up the table and currently find themselves in ninth place ahead of the likes of Newcastle United and Chelsea.

Having inflicted upon Manchester City their first defeat in the League this season, O’Neil is only the second English coach to have beaten City in the Guardiola era, with the club now live contenders to qualify for European football.

“The job he’s done is just phenomenal,” said former Republic of Ireland international Shay Given on BBC’s Match of the Day recently.

“You think the summer they had as well. He lost Collins, Nunes, Jimenez, Neves and Cody – he only had three days to prepare for the season as well at the start, so it’s unbelievable,” continued Given.

It is reported by ESPN that United are keen to ‘build a new coaching structure led by a head coach’ – with O’Neil at the forefront of their thoughts.

The specifics of the role in question aren’t clear, so it’s still unsure if he would be the boss per se, or whether he would be working under a a manager, be that Erik ten Hag or one of his rumoured replacements.

Thomas Frank, Gareth Southgate and Roberto De Zerbi are among those who have been linked with the job.

The Londoner did however sign a three year deal with Wolves last summer, which leaves United with the prospect of paying a hefty compensation fee to the club were they to prise him away.

A coaching role, in its traditional guise, would be seen straight up as a step down for O’Neil, regardless of United’s stature as a club, which begs the question, as mentioned above, whether the structures may be set to change.

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