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Man Utd’s shock coaching wildcard… but there could be a roadblock

Roberto Mancini is reportedly being considered as a shock candidate to take over at Manchester United next summer.

A report from The Telegraph on Wednesday morning claims that the former Manchester City manager “could be one of several names” put forward as the club’s next permanent coach.

Mancini’s availability for the role could depend on Italy’s performance in the World Cup play-offs in March.

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If he fails to steer Italy into the tournament in Qatar later that year, it could present United with an opportunity to pounce.

Although a return to the Premier League could intrigue Mancini regardless of whether Italy progresses.

He is currently contracted as Italy head coach until 2026.

Other contenders for the role include Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino, Ajax’s Erik ten Hag and Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers.

For the time being interim manager Ralf Rangnick will be taking the helm.

Michael Carrick will stay in charge of Manchester United for their clash against Arsenal this week though as Rangnick awaits his work visa.

Rangnick on Tuesday agreed to join United from Lokomotiv Moscow, where he was the head of sports and development.

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But he will not be on the bench when Arsenal visit on Friday due to legal red tape.

“Ralf Rangnick was announced as interim manager on Monday but, while the club follows the regulatory process around a work visa, Carrick will continue at the helm,” a United statement said.

“Michael has communicated this to players and staff at Carrington in a busy week for the club.”

The 63-year-old German will eventually take charge at United until the end of this season before moving into a two-year consultancy role at the troubled Premier League outfit.

Carrick has been working as United’s caretaker boss since Solskjaer’s sacking.

The former United midfielder, who had served as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s assistant, has overseen a 2-0 Champions League win at Villarreal and Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Premier League leaders Chelsea.

United host Crystal Palace on Sunday, by which time Rangnick could be in the dugout.

They are then scheduled to play their final Champions League group fixture at home to Swiss club Young Boys on December 8.

That game could be switched to a neutral venue given the new travel restrictions in response to the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

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