Woodward could delay United exit to oversee search for new manager

Manchester United vice-chairman Ed Woodward could ‘delay his departure’ at the end of this year to oversee the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s long-term successor once an interim boss is in place

  • Ed Woodward was expected to leave Manchester United at the end of the year
  • United are on the search for a new manager after sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
  • Woodward could stay on at the club longer to help find a new permanent boss 

Manchester United vice-chairman Ed Woodward could delay his departure from the club to oversee their search for a new manager. 

Woodward announced in April he was going to leave his role at the end of 2021, following the collapse of the failed European Super League project. 

United though are now on the hunt for a new manager after parting ways with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday.

Ed Woodward was set to leave at the end of 2021 but could prolong his stay at Old Trafford

Sky Sports have reported that the current ‘instability’ within United’s football department means Woodward is ‘likely to still have a key role for many months to come’.

After sacking Solskjaer, the club announced in a statement that former midfielder and first-team coach Michael Carrick would take charge of the next few games, starting with Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Villarreal. 

An interim manager would then be appointed until the end of the season, before a permanent replacement would come in during the summer. 


Woodward is set to be involved in the search for both the interim position, then the full-time manager’s role going forwards.

Woodward announced he would leave following the collapse of the failed European Super League

United are on the hunt for a new manager after sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the weekend

The 49-year-old first joined United from Tottenham under Sir Alex Ferguson in 2005 and has held his current coaching role since 2012.

In the club’s official statement on his departure earlier this year, Woodward said: ‘The club is well positioned for the future and it will be difficult to walk away at the end of the year.’

He added: ‘We have invested more than £1bn in the squad during my time here and I am particularly delighted with the progress the players have made under the astute leadership of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his coaching team in the last two years.

‘I am sure that with the changes we have made on-field and to the coaching and football staff in recent years this great club will soon be lifting silverware again. It deserves to.’

Mauricio Pochettino is one of the favourite candidates to take on the role permanently

Woodward also came out in support of Solskjaer before their thumping 4-1 defeat to Watford. 

The Norwegian had faced intense scrutiny following humbling home defeats to rivals Liverpool and Manchester City.

In a statement by Woodward following the release of their financial results, he said: ‘While these financial results today demonstrate our resilience through the pandemic, our top priority is success on the pitch.

‘The manager, players and everyone at the club are determined to achieve that objective.’ 

Despite a second-place finish last season and heavy recruitment in the summer, United seem to have taken a step backwards from the last campaign.

Michael Carrick will take charge for the next few games before an interim boss is put in place

They currently sit eighth in the league table having lost five of their last seven games.

This poor form led to the departure of Solskjaer after three trophy-less years at Old Trafford.  

Whoever comes in to the role as interim manager is expected to work with the existing coaching and support staff. 

Bigger changes could take place in the summer where a full-time manager is appointed.

Sportsmail revealed that Mauricio Pochettino would be prepared to quit Paris Saint-Germain and take on the role at United.

Zinedine Zidane is also among the candidates to take on the vacancy at Old Trafford

The former Tottenham boss is living in a hotel while his family remain in London, and is said to be frustrated at managing a dressing-room with big egos like Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

Pochettino was heavily linked with the United job when Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho in December 2018 and is still admired by the Old Trafford hierarchy.

The likes of Zinedine Zidane, Brendan Rodgers and Erik ten Hag have also been linked with the permanent role at Old Trafford.  

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