After a 3-2 comeback victory over Aston Villa on Boxing Day, with Rasmus Hojlund finally netting his maiden Premier League goal, Manchester United looked to have finally turned a corner.
But in a season that has seen United lose 3-0 at home to Bournemouth and crash out of Europe altogether, it should have come as no surprise to the more battle-weary Red Devils fan that Erik Ten Hag's men fell to a 2-1 defeat at relegation battlers Nottingham Forest in their final outing of 2023.
That result has, by all accounts, left the Dutchman as a dead man walking. And while an argument can be made that the team scored plenty of goals and lost most games narrowly, it is obvious that there is something badly wrong with this organisation right now.
Now, more than ever, the Next Manchester United Manager betting odds market is under the microscope,
The latest ‘Next Manchester United Manager' betting odds
Graham Potter – 2/1
Former Brighton and Chelsea manager Graham Potter remains the favourite to become United’s next manager. Potter was sacked by Chelsea in April after just 12 wins in 31 matches during a turbulent spell at Stamford Bridge.
But the English coach is still well-regarded for his achievements with Brighton during a successful three-year reign. Whilst in charge at the Amex, Potter averaged 1.28 points per game and the 48-year-old earned plaudits for his adaptable tactics and his cool-headed approach.
This one is definitely worth keeping an eye on, with the price shortening drastically over the past two months.
Julen Lopetegui – 4/1
The former goalkeeper has coached mainly in Spain after stints with Spain's national team, Real Madrid, and Sevilla. However, Lopetegui now has experience in England, from his time at Wolves.
While the Spaniard doesn't have many accolades as a manager, except for winning the Europa League with Sevilla, he does have a promising skill set which can be valuable to Man Utd.
Zinedine Zidane – 10/1
Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is the bookies' current second-favourite to replace Ten Hag in the next Manchester United manager betting market. Zidane’s only managerial job to date was at Real Madrid, across two spells between 2016 and 2021.
But the former World Cup winner was extremely successful as he led Los Blancos to two La Liga titles and three Champions League wins in a trophy laden five year period.
The 51-year-old may also be seen by the United hierarchy as a figure who could rejuvenate the club’s dressing room. Zidane was able to get the best out of world-renowned superstars at the Bernabéu. The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema were central to Zidane’s success, while the Frenchman also coached current Man United players Casemiro and Raphaël Varane.
Zidane was reportedly linked with the United job in 2021, following Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s departure. However, the former Real Madrid boss reportedly cooled his interest in the role before Ten Hag was eventually appointed as the Red Devils boss.
Ruben Amorim – 10/1
Current Sporting CP head coach Ruben Amorim has attracted interest from across Europe recently. The 38-year-old coach famously led Sporting to their first Portuguese Primeira Liga league title in 19 years in the 2020/21 campaign.
The Portuguese manager has also coached several world-renowned stars and developed some talented young players at Sporting. Premier League players João Palhinha, Pedro Porro Matheus Nunes and PSG defender Nuno Mendes all progressed under Amorim’s stewardship at the José Alvalade Stadium.
Roberto De Zerbi – 16/1
Roberto De Zerbi has made an impact in the Premier League since guiding Brighton to the Europa League last season. The Italian coach took over at the Amex in September 2022 and helped the Seagulls to finish sixth in England’s top flight – their best-ever domestic campaign.
The 44-year-old’s reputation in Europe is strong after he led Sassuolo to consecutive eighth-place finishes in Serie A between 2019 and 2021. Moreover, the Italian coach won 20 of his 30 games in charge at Shakhtar Donetsk before he departed prematurely in July 2022 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The question marks over De Zerbi’s suitability at United will come from his lack of management at a higher-profile club. While his credentials to play attractive and adaptable football are clear, the demands at Old Trafford would likely exceed previous expectations at Brighton, Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk.
Bringing United back for good seems like ‘Mission Impossible'
It was never going to be an easy job for anyone to follow in the footsteps of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. As we have seen in recent years, many managers have come to the club and tried to reach the expectations of the fans and replicate the success that Sir Alex Ferguson was able to achieve at the club.
These days, the club just doesn't quite have that same feeling about it, and Erik Ten Hag has struggled to bring the Red Devils up to the level that they have been at in the past.