Man Utd target for caretaker job responds by telling club to contact rival candidate

Ruben Amorim won Sporting's first league title last year since 2002
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

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Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim – a former teammate of United star Cristiano Ronaldo – is one name who has been linked to the vacancy.

Amorim, aged just 36, was only appointed as the Portuguese giants boss last year but he guided them to the league title in his first full season at the helm – the club’s first since 2002.

The former midfielder has won plenty of plaudits for his team-building and coaching work at Sporting, who have won two of their opening four Champions League group stage games.

Amorim was directly asked at his pre-match press conference before his side travel to Ajax this week about the United vacancy and whether he would be interested.

He attempted to turn the question on its head in a good-humoured nature, by instead asking United to pursue his opposite number in this week’s European clash – Ajax boss Erik Ten Hag.

Erik ten Hag has been quizzed about taking the Man United job
(Image: ESPN)

Amorim told reporters: “We are talking about rumours here.

“I was clear about my future last week.

“Several names were thrown around.

“Therefore, they’re rumours that I don’t give much attention to.

“However, if I may, I think Manchester United should sign Ten Hag this week.

“Now that would be something that would make me quite happy.”

Ten Hag has also been asked about the link to Old Trafford although, like Pochettino, it appears to be unlikely that he would be available for a mid-season appointment.

The Dutchman said on Tuesday: “I am busy with Ajax.

“No one contacted me, I can confirm this. I want to win titles here.”

On Tuesday, Michael Carrick oversaw an impressive two-goal victory for Manchester United at Villarreal to seal their place in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Carrick was part of the coaching staff at Old Trafford under Solskjaer and is taking charge of first-team affairs until a managerial appointment is made by the club.