Man Utd hold talks with former Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde over becoming boss

Valverde has been out of work since leaving Barca in January 2020
(Image: REUTERS)

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Michael Carrick is currently the caretaker boss at United but the club are keen to attract his replacement as soon as possible, with Pochettino remaining their number one target.

The club’s talks with Valverde are outlined by The Guardian while Italian transfer guru Fabrizio Romano confirms that the Spaniard is one of ‘five candidates’ to lead United in the interim should Pochettino not be available immediately.

Valverde possesses an excellent CV but he has been out of work since January 2020 when he was sacked by Barca, despite having won the title in La Liga in each of his campaigns at the helm and leaving the club top of the standings in Spain.

Since Valverde’s exit, Barca have not won La Liga and finished last season in third place while they currently languish in seventh spot after 12 matches.

The experienced coach also won a Copa del Rey title and Spanish Supercopa during his time at the Catalan giants, winning 97 of his 145 matches at the helm.

Despite his domestic dominance, concern was expressed over the manner of the club’s European exits – losing 3-0 at Roma in the Champions League quarter-finals in 2018 before a 4-0 loss at Liverpool the following year in the last four.

Those reservations could however be placed in the context of Barca crashing to an 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the month’s following Valverde’s exit, while they lost 4-0 and 3-0 to Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus respectively the season prior to his arrival.

Valverde’s coaching career has also included stints at Athletic Bilbao, Espanyol, Villarreal and Valencia alongside two spells in charge of Olympiakos – with whom he won five trophies including three league titles in Greece.

Other notable achievement in Valverde’s coaching career including reaching the UEFA Cup final with Espanyol in 2007 and leading Athletic Bilbao to the Champions League in 2014 for the first time in 30 years, while he guided the Basque club to the Spanish Supercopa against Barca the following year.