Manchester United are reportedly ‘losing interest’ in Antonio Conte as the club consider replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager.
Conte has been linked as a potential replacement for the under-fire Norwegian, who has seen his position come under mounting pressure following a four-game winless run in the Premier League, the latest loss being a humbling 5-0 defeat at home to Liverpool last weekend.
Manchester United are currently seventh in the Premier League and the club’s board are understood to have considered the possibility of change, with former Chelsea manager Conte having emerged as a potential candidate.
However, the Star are reporting that the Red Devils have cooled their interest in the Italian, given the financial cost of bringing the 52-year-old to Old Trafford.
Conte has a proven track record in winning silverware after guiding Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan to league titles, but would demand immediate investment in the squad – the signing of a defensive midfielder and full-back – to fit his preferred 3-5-2 formation, alongside the appointment of his own backroom staff.
Conte’s demands for a contract worth £18m-per-season and the cost that would be incurred from removing Solskjaer and his current set of first-team coaches has reportedly seen United ‘lose interest’.
It was reported by ESPN on Thursday that Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers could be in the running for the job, with the Northern Irishman also able to offer a more attractive brand of football than that of the Italian, while also having a commitment to developing youth players.
Getting the former Liverpool boss out of the East Midlands club would not be easy or cheap given that he is under contract until 2025, with the report saying that the lack of ‘credible interim appointments’ is a ‘key reason’ that Solskjaer has so far remained in post.
The Norwegian now looks set to be given a chance to revive the club’s fortunes ahead of a testing week that includes fixtures with Tottenham, Atalanta and Manchester City, though alternatives are believed to be being considered should results fail to improve.