Jamie Carragher believes Manchester United should target Thomas Tuchel amid the uncertainty surrounding Chelsea and says a move for the German is a ‘no brainer’.
Chelsea are facing an uncertain immediate future following the sanctions imposed on owner Roman Abramovich, the government having frozen the 55-year-old’s UK assets in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Abramovich is one of seven Russian oligarchs who have had sanctions placed on them by ministers on Thursday and the sanctions will come into force before a sale of the club can be finalised. The Russian had confirmed his intention to sell Chelsea last week.
Abramovich has been prohibited from transactions with UK individuals and businesses and Chelsea will be unable to offer new contracts to players or staff, while they are at present unable to sell new tickets.
Carragher believes the situation provides Manchester United with a chance to raid their rivals, as the Red Devils assess candidates to become the club’s next permanent manager.
Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag have been the frontrunners for the vacant position at Old Trafford, but Carragher believes Tuchel could now become a viable alternative.
Writing in the Telegraph, Carragher said: “All roads have been leading towards Mauricio Pochettino since the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. After Paris St-Germain’s latest Champions League failure, Pochettino will be available soon. But he may have stronger competition for the United job than he could have imagined.
“Given the events at Chelsea, United’s decision to wait until the end of the season presents them with a choice no-one could have foreseen. One of the best managers in the world – the current Fifa coach of the year – must be top of their list.
“Tuchel, like everyone else at Stamford Bridge, will have no idea what the future holds at his current club. No one can offer him any assurances about how the squad will look at the start of next season given the club’s sale is on hold. No manager wants to be working amid such a background of uncertainty. If he gets the chance to leave for a club of United’s stature, he must take it.
“United can offer him the security and backing every top coach craves. Yes, it will seem a predatory move – taking advantage of Chelsea’s crisis – but from United and Tuchel’s perspective the more you consider it, the more of a no-brainer it is.
Chelsea Football Club has been advised that its owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned by the UK Government. pic.twitter.com/QzwU7pZK0G
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) March 10, 2022
“Every chief executive in the world looking for a new coach will be – or at least should be – monitoring Tuchel’s mood and public comments between now and the end of the season. Only clubs of a certain calibre could attract him. It would be negligent of United to fail to sound him out. As a coach, he is exactly what they need.”
Carragher discussed the other main managerial candidates for the United job, including former Spurs boss, Mauricio Pochettino, who faces his own uncertain future at PSG after the club’s Champions League capitulation to Real Madrid on Wednesday evening.
The Argentine has been a long-term target for the Red Devils, but Carragher believes rival candidates could now have become ‘more attractive to the Old Trafford decision-makers’.
“Pochettino would almost certainly welcome a way out to Manchester. He should have been given the United job years ago,” he added. “The biggest problem for him is how quickly the game moves on and other coaches emerge.
“It is now five years since Pochettino peaked at Spurs. The decision to appoint him would be more straightforward if he had some recent momentum. He should win the French title this season. PSG coaches are not judged on that.
“It would not be a surprise if the other leading candidate for United, Ajax’s Erik ten Hag, has become more attractive to the Old Trafford decision-makers.
“The more you watch Ajax, the more it feels the Dutchman’s next step will be to one of the world’s biggest clubs. The Ajax side he led to the Champions League semi-final in 2019 was dismantled as clubs took his players away, and yet he has impressively rebuilt playing a distinctive, attractive brand of attacking football – the style he naturally evolved when a reserve manager at Bayern Munich under Guardiola.
“Any of these three coaches could be transformative for United, but there is another advantage for Tuchel if he could be tempted. Let’s not forget that his mentor – Ralf Rangnick – is in temporary charge. If United are as keen to retain Rangnick’s services in an advisory capacity as they claimed when recruiting him – and they ask him who should take over – who will he tell them to call?”