Rodgers is Solskjaer’s successor


Brendan Rodgers could take over at Manchester United if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is sacked. – ESPN’s Insider Notebook has the latest. MORE: How Old Trafford players rallied around Solskjaer amid questions about his future.

Go to: Players sent messages of support for Solskjaer | Clubs reject anti-racism talks with police | Haaland’s fear in 2022 | The historic fertility initiative of the NWSL club

Rodgers ahead of Conte in the race to replace Solskjaer

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers is a potential replacement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United manager, sources have told ESPN, with the club set to sign a new Premier League manager if the he former Molde and Cardiff City coach is unable to inspire a turnaround in results.

Solskjaer will take over United against Tottenham on Saturday, and almost certainly Atalanta in the Champions League on Tuesday, after the Old Trafford hierarchy withstood pressure to fire the 48-year-old following the 5-0 defeat at home last Sunday against Liverpool. .

Although he remains in his post, sources told ESPN that United are evaluating alternative options in the event the Norwegian is unable to stop a disastrous form. The club have suffered five defeats in the last nine games in all competitions, including just one point from their last 12 Premier League games.

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The determination within United to keep the approach of promoting youngsters and playing with an appealing style has led to a focus on possible domestic targets, and ESPN have learned that Leicester manager Rodgers has impressed the highs responsible for Old Trafford with his work at King Power. Stadium, where he won the FA Cup last season, as well as his successes at Celtic and previously at Liverpool, where he transformed the squad and came close to winning the Premier League title in 2014.

Rodgers, 48, signed a long-term contract in December 2019 committing him to Leicester until 2025, raising the prospect of a costly compensation bill if United tried to negotiate his release from the Foxes. The club have appointed a succession of foreign coaches – Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Solskjaer – since David Moyes sacked less than a year after his six-year contract began in 2014, but sources said the The failure of this appointment had not dissuaded the club from hiring a British coach again.

A lack of credible acting appointments has proven to be a key factor in keeping Solskjaer in the driver’s seat this week, but United’s hierarchy are ready to fire him if the team continues to underperform and the next two games are crucial for his chances of survival in the role.

Former Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte is available and interested in the United job, but sources said senior Old Trafford officials have reservations about his abrasive personality and its likely demands for significant spending on the transfer market. However, Conte has not been ruled out as a potential nomination if circumstances dictate a quick change.

Paris Saint-Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino has support in the United boardroom, sources have told ESPN, but it is admitted that a decision by the former manager of Tottenham is unlikely as it stands. –Marc Ogden

Support SMS from Solskjaer

Under pressure, United boss Solskjaer has received messages of support from members of his squad following the humiliating loss to Liverpool as it looked like he could lose his job, sources have told ESPN.

Although there were a number of dissenting voices in the dressing room after a 4-2 loss to Leicester was followed by the 5-0 home hammering against Liverpool, sources told ESPN that sections of the first team remained behind their manager.

A group of senior players texted Solskjaer and Executive Vice President Ed Woodward on Monday to express their support, while admitting their own poor form contributed to the club’s unease. Sources added that some players felt in the dark as to what was going on and texted Woodward asking about the manager’s position amid a lack of clarity this week in the wake of a series of media speculations that Solskjaer would be sacked. Meanwhile, Sir Alex Ferguson and former chairman Martin Edwards were pictured arriving at the club’s training base in Carrington on Monday, but sources told ESPN the pre-planned visit was so they could s ‘equip for new club combinations.

Solskjaer is expected to remain in charge of Manchester United’s trip to Tottenham on Saturday, although sources have told ESPN his future is not guaranteed beyond that.

Woodward and group general manager Richard Arnold are satisfied that Solskjaer has enough support within the squad to make a positive result at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium a realistic possibility, despite the difficulties surrounding the club. – Rob dawson

to play


Don Hutchison analyzes whether Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s time at Manchester United is running out.

Police frustrated by inaction on online abuse

An anonymous Premier League club have rejected an invitation from the police to talk to players about racist abuse online, National Police Chiefs Council football manager Mark Roberts told ESPN.

Following an “explosion” in hate crimes online during Euro 2020, Roberts wrote to 92 professional clubs in England and Wales ahead of the 2021-22 season, offering police officers a tour of the football grounds. training to meet players and discuss racist abuse online, and how authorities could work with them to address it.

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So far, only 11 of the 92 have allowed the police visit, none of whom play in the Premier League. In total, four clubs in the English football pyramid refused the offer of help. It was not specified for what reasons the invitation was refused, nor the lack of urgency of the clubs to respond to the request of the police.

“This [online hate crime] was a growing problem. We have seen an increase in previous seasons during the lockdown and during the Euros we have had an explosion in the number of incidents detected and reported, ”Roberts told ESPN.

“You can’t turn on a sports channel without someone saying they’re committed to fighting racism, saying ‘We’re all in the same boat. We are all united. “So it was disappointing when there was a lack of response. I was hoping that was something the clubs would jump on, briefing their players.

“The clubs are very rich organizations that we would have hoped they would have taken some time.

“It’s important to remember that the players are the victims here. I think this is a missed opportunity [from clubs] to support the players. “

Contacted by ESPN, a Premier League spokesperson said: “The Premier League is taking action against online abuse – since 2019 we have been proactively monitoring social media platforms to report any abuse targeting Premier players League, and have reported thousands of social media companies since.

“We also support players, managers and their families through our online abuse reporting system, working closely with the relevant law enforcement authorities throughout this process.” – Connor O’Halloran

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Nedum Onuoha joins The Conversation and compares fans’ reaction to the European Super League and racism in football.

Haaland World Cup fears as injury concerns rise

Erling Haaland’s hopes of making the 2022 World Cup have been seriously shaken by sources telling ESPN that the Norwegian striker’s hip injury will force him to miss his country’s crucial qualifying matches against Latvia and the Netherlands next month. The 21-year-old suffered a hip flexor injury in Borussia Dortmund’s 4-0 Champions League loss to Ajax in Amsterdam on October 19 and was initially ruled out for “a few weeks” by the trainer Marco Rose.

But sources told ESPN that Haaland’s injury is worse than initially feared and that he could be sidelined until mid-December at the earliest.

Such a dismissal would deprive Haaland of Dortmund’s last three games in Group C of the Champions League, where they are second after the loss to Ajax, and decisive matches for Norway in their bid to qualify for the Cup. world for the first time since 1998.

Norway will advance to Qatar 2022 if they beat Latvia and the Netherlands in their last two Group G games, where they sit second, two points behind Louis van Gaal’s Dutch side before the matches. next month.

Haaland has played a crucial role in Norway’s advance to second after scoring five goals in the qualifying campaign so far, but his absence for matches in Latvia and the Netherlands would leave the Norwegians without their best player and seriously undermine their qualifying hopes.

A second place would mean a playoff sport on the road to the World Cup, although Turkey are two points behind Norway with two games to go.–Marc Ogden

to play


Janusz Michallik praises Jude Bellingham’s performance after Borussia Dortmund’s 3-1 win over Bielefeld.

Racing Louisville’s historic fertility initiative

Racing Louisville set a new standard for women’s football this week when the club announced it would provide players with free fertility preservation services, including egg freezing, embryo freezing and long-term storage.

The deal, which is the first of its kind in the National Women’s Football League, will see the club partner with the Kentucky Fertility Institute to give players more flexibility to start families and continue their careers on the pitch.

There is a precedent for this type of health care in women’s sport, with the WNBA writing in its collective agreement that there should be reimbursement for veteran players for adoption, surrogacy, egg freezing or fertility treatment.

Players who use conservation services with Racing Louisville and then leave the club or retire will still be covered for cryo-storage charges.

“Professional female athletes have long been weighed down by the excruciating choice of continuing with their finite careers or taking time out – sometimes retired – to start a family,” said Brynn Sebring, Director of Player Experience at Racing Louisville. . “With the help of the Kentucky Fertility Institute, Racing Louisville has effectively removed the financial burden of an alternative solution, giving our athletes a choice few other players have.”

Freezing eggs requires at least two weeks of training, but many athletes who choose to undergo therapy do so during their offseason. – Kathleen McNamee

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