Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manchester United manager is trying to save his job. Sources tell ESPN that Solskjaer had lost the trust of many of his players even before Sunday's 5-0 loss against Liverpool.
ESPN was also informed by ESPN that United hierarchy members are aware of Antonio Conte's former coaching roles at Inter Milan, Chelsea and Juve.
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Solskjaer was initially appointed interim manager in December 2018 following Jose Mourinho's dismissal. He has now lost five of his nine previous games. Sources say that Solskjaer's support is limited to United's core players in Britain and a few of the international players.
Sources claim that the club atmosphere is not as toxic as it used to be under Mourinho, but Old Trafford has felt a sense of resignation about Solskjaer as manager.
ESPN was told by Solskjaer that he is unable to solve the team’s defensive problems, his apparent preference for underperforming players, and reluctance of handing opportunities to Jesse Lingard and Donny van der Beek has resulted in some players openly criticizing the manager to their teammates while on international duty.
Sources claim that senior players are becoming frustrated by Solskjaer’s inability to enforce his authority over United's failing forwards.
According to one source, the incomprehension between Cristiano Ronaldo (Mason Greenwood) and Solskjaer was due to Solskjaer's inability to convince the pair to work together more convincingly. The pair are rarely seen passing to one another in attacking positions, and Ronaldo's young teammate's decision not to pass in goal-scoring situations is making him irritable.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manchester United's boss, has yet to win silverware. Getty
Sources say that Solskjaer was not unpopular in the squad, unlike Louis van Gaal and Louis Mourinho, but there is still a perception that the former Molde manager is lacking the experience, mentality, and credentials of Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel, and Pep Guardiola.
Sources claim that Solskjaer and his coaches want to give senior players more tactical guidance, but that Solskjaer has not been able to provide that.
After leading Inter to the Serie A title, Conte resigned as Inter coach. His track record of imposing tactical requirements on his teams and winning domestic titles at Juventus, Chelsea, and Inter support his credentials as a coach.
ESPN sources said that United has been reluctant to hire Conte. Conte is known within the game for being a demanding and abrasive character. However, Old Trafford is realizing that he is the best choice if they need to replace Solskjaer.
Mauricio Pochettino was a long-term target of United. However, the former Tottenham coach is now in charge of Paris Saint-Germain. He is unlikely to be available soon, despite a disappointing start to the season.