Strengths and Weaknesses of the Main Manchester United Managerial Candidates

Rob Dawson@@RobDawsonMENManchester United CorrespondentMay 5, 2014

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Main Manchester United Managerial Candidates

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    Manchester United have been searching for a new manager for more than a week after axing David Moyes.

    Louis Van Gaal, experienced and available after the World Cup, has been the frontrunner from the start.

    But there are other candidates that fit the profile United are looking for, including Carlo Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola.

    Ryan Giggs has been in charge temporarily since Moyes was sacked, with help from his Class of '92 team-mates, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville.

    And there are some United fans who would like to see the Welshman given a chance.

    Here's a round-up of the runners and riders, followed by a rundown of the top-three candidates.

    Feel free to use the comments section below to add your own.

The Others

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    The board have been keen to show the world's best managers are all being considered.

    They don't want a situation like last summer when David Moyes was handed the job without a thought for any other candidates.

    Some fans would like to see Jurgen Klopp at Old Trafford, but the German appears settled at Borussia Dortmund.

    Diego Simeone would also be difficult to prise away from Atletico Madrid.

    Pep Guardiola has also been considered, especially after Bayern Munich were dumped out of the Champions League by Real Madrid.

    However, the Spaniard is just a year into a three-year contract at the Allianz Arena.

3. Ryan Giggs

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    While the United board have never explicitly said it, privately they have been very firm in their stance that they want an experienced manager.

    Ryan Giggs was the obvious choice as caretaker manager, but he lacks the CV to be considered for the job permanently.

    But that hasn't stopped some fans pushing his name forward, although the clamour quietened following Saturday's disappointing defeat to Sunderland.

    But he does have his positives.

    No one knows the club or the dressing room better, and key members of the squad have only had good things to say about his short reign.

2. Carlo Ancelotti

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    The board accepted very early on that Louis van Gaal was favourite for the job, mainly because he will be available this summer.

    But they have been keen to stress it is not a short-list of one, and they have been considering candidates on suitability rather than just availability.

    Carlo Ancelotti has a job at Real Madrid, but Florentino Perez has never been shy about replacing coaches, even successful ones. Just ask Vicente del Bosque.

    Ancelotti has experience in Italy, France and Spain and knows the Premier League after a spell in charge of Chelsea.

    However, luring the Italian was always a long shot. Even more so now that he has guided Real Madrid to the brink of their 10th European Cup success. 

1. Louis Van Gaal

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    Louis van Gaal has two things going for him: Suitability and availability.

    The 62-year-old will leave his job as coach of the Dutch national team after the World Cup, leaving him free to take the United job this summer.

    He also has the experience the board crave after spells in charge of Ajax, where he won the Champions League, Barcelona (twice) and Bayern Munich.

    He would also find an ally in the dressing room in Robin van Persie, although he has got a reputation as a strong-willed, even abrasive, character.

    His European Cup success with Ajax came in 1995, but he did lead Bayern to the final in 2010, the same year he won the German domestic double.

    He also has a history of placing his trust in young players, packing his Ajax team with academy graduates Edgar Davids, Patrick Kluivert, Clarence Seedorf and Michael Reiziger.