Next Manchester United manager: Five contenders

With rumours that David Moyes is on the verge of being sacked, Sports Mole picks out five managers that could replace him at Manchester United.

Strong rumours this afternoon have suggested that David Moyes is to be relieved of his managerial duties by Manchester United in the near future.

It's been a largely disappointing tenure for the Scot, who took charge of the champions last July.

While there has been no official word from the club, Sports Mole has assessed five of the early contenders to replace the 50-year-old, should the speculation be confirmed.

Manchester United's midfielder Ryan Giggs controls the ball during a friendly football match between AIK and Manchester United on August 6, 2013© Getty Images
1. Ryan Giggs
First and foremost, if Moyes does depart before the end of the campaign, Giggs is probably going to be given the perfect chance to audition. It's highly likely that the 40-year-old, who is taking his coaching badges, will be given the job on an interim basis. Picking up four wins from the team's remaining fixtures will do his chances little harm. However, while he is the most decorated player in the history of English football, he has no managerial experience whatsoever. The Welshman is a club legend, but his appointment would represent a major risk.

Dortmund's head coach Jrgen Klopp looks on ahead of the German first division Bundesliga football match FSV Mainz 05 vs Borussia Dortmund in Mainz, Central Germany on November 30, 2013© Getty Images
2. Jurgen Klopp:
If the supporters have their way, Klopp will be boarding a flight from Dortmund bound for Manchester shortly. At present, the 46-year-old appears to be the favourite among the United faithful, just as he was 12 months ago when Moyes took the job. Among his many qualities, Klopp is known to be a loyal person and has recently vowed that he will not depart Dortmund this summer. Having said that, the temptation of United may prove too big to ignore. With Bayern Munich the dominant force in Germany and showing no signs of letting up, a fresh challenge for Klopp cannot be ruled out.

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal speaks to members of the media after the Final Draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil at Costa do Sauipe Resort on December 6, 2013© Getty Images
3. Louis van Gaal
Tottenham Hotspur may be sweating if Moyes does in fact depart United. Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is believed to be a big fan of Netherlands head coach Van Gaal, who is standing down from the position after this summer's World Cup. In terms of honours and experience, the 62-year-old fits the bill for United, having claimed trophies in Holland, Spain and Germany during stints with Ajax, Barcelona and Munich.

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone gestures during the Champions League quarter final match against Barcelona on April 9, 2014© Getty Images
4. Diego Simeone
Like Klopp last season, Simeone's stock has risen over the last 12 months. Having had success in his native Argentina, Simeone has guided Atletico Madrid to the Copa del Rey and Europa League trophies in recent years. He's threatening to go even better this term, with Los Rojiblancos top of La Liga heading down the home straight and in the semi-finals of the Champions League. With Atletico in debt and often forced to part with their best players, perhaps the 43-year-old may be swayed by the promise of major funds by United.

Antonio Conte head coach of Juventus during the TIM Supercup match between SS Lazio and FC Juventus at Olimpico Stadium on August 18, 2013© Getty Images
5. Antonio Conte
In his autobiography 'I Think Therefore I Play', Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo wrote this of Conte: "I consider myself particularly fortunate: I know Antonio Conte. I've worked with a lot of coaches in my time and he's the one who surprised me the most. One little speech, a few simple words, was all it took for him to win me over." He continued later in the chapter: "When Conte speaks, his words assault you. They crash through the doors of your mind, often quite violently, and settle deep within you. I've lost track of the number of times I've found myself saying: 'Hell, Conte said something spot on again today.'" If he's good enough for a player of Pirlo's ilk...

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring against Everton on April 28, 2007.
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