Eight months after losing his position as Chelsea’s head coach, Graham Potter is prepared to take on managerial roles again, 90min knows, despite rumours that he is in talks to join Manchester United.
In September of last year, the 48-year-old signed a five-year contract to take over as Stamford Bridge’s successor from Thomas Tuchel. However, he was fired in April after winning only 12 of a possible 31 games in all competitions.
Following a 2-0 home loss to Aston Villa—who have thrived under manager Unai Emery’s guidance in the Europa League—Potter’s departure was officially announced.
90min is aware that Potter turned down the opportunity to lead Lyon and Leicester after leaving Chelsea, and that his connections to struggling Championship team Stoke City were unfounded. Nevertheless, Potter is now prepared to return to management in 2024.
Potter is reportedly in the running to succeed Erik ten Hag at Manchester United, where the team is in disarray following a terrible start to the year. United crashed out of the Champions League on Tuesday after suffering their 12th straight loss against Bayern Munich in all competitions. Their Group A performance was the club’s worst since the competition’s 1992 reformation.
United, who now sit sixth in the Premier League standings after losing seven of their 16 games thus far, also lack the luxury of qualifying for the Europa League after finishing last in a group that included FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray.
Ten Hag is under more pressure after the discouraging 3-0 loss to Bournemouth at Old Trafford last weekend. He has already had to quell allegations of discord in the locker room, and the uncertainty around the future of star players has fueled the flames even more.
Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag at Manchester United is under increasing pressure. / James Gill – Danehouse/GettyImages
Potter is favoured by several bookmakers to replace Ten Hag at Old Trafford, and it seems that INEOS, the Sir Jim Ratcliffe-led company that is about to acquire a 25% share in United, is one of Potter’s supporters.
In fact, before Francesco Farioli was appointed in June, Potter was among the candidates to take CEO at OGC Nice, which is also controlled by INEOS and Ratcliffe.
While it is understood by 90min that Potter’s work is highly regarded by members of United’s potential new administration, no major changes are currently planned in Manchester until a new football department has been established.
United’s decision with Ten Hag may ultimately depend on the outcome, but so far, the club has backed him to turn things around following years of underwhelming performance. Off-field problems have plagued United, with their recent actions in the transfer market being a point of dissatisfaction for many fans. However, there were indications of on-field improvement last year when the team won the Carabao Cup, ending a six-year trophy drought.
Potter’s career highlights include a highly successful three-and-a-half-year tenure at Brighton, which helped the team rise to prominence, as well as stints at Swansea City and Ostersund, which he led from Sweden’s fourth division to participation in the 2017–18 Europa League, where he famously defeated Arsenal 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium.
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