Manchester United are manager-hunting following the sacking of David Moyes, and while Ryan Giggs is temporarily at the helm, the team is searching for a permanent leader.
Many names have been thrown around, but here are the top likely contenders to be the Red Devils next manager.
1. Louis van Gaal
The 62-year-old Netherlands manager is busy preparing for the upcoming World Cup, where his side will once again be one of the favourites.
However, he has made no secret of his desire to manage in the Premier League and has already been heavily linked with Tottenham – and United.
Van Gaal has a superb track record – with seven league titles in four countries, the Champions League and UEFA Cup. And he recently claimed that Robin van Persie is happier playing for his Holland side than for United.
His last job in club management was in 2011 though, and he was sacked by Bayern Munich after only finishing third in the league.
2. Carlos Queiroz
Queiroz knows United inside out, having enjoyed two hugely successful stints as assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson from 2002-3 and 2004-8.
He was regarded as an innovative and meticulous coach and was credited with helping turn Cristiano Ronaldo from callow youth to one of the world’s best players.
Yet his one stint as manager of a major club side – when he took charge of Real Madrid in 2003-4 – was pretty disastrous.
Despite signing a two-year contract, the Portuguese lasted only 10 months after Real lost their final five matches of the season and finished fifth in the table.
3. Sir Alex Ferguson
What more can we say about Ferguson, the most successful manager in the history of English football?
The contrast between this season under David Moyes and the previous 20 under the legendary Scot has been stark.
Gone is the bravado, confidence and never-say-die attitude, replaced by doubt and uncertainty.
Almost every single United fan would welcome the Scot back with open arms. But surely he wouldn’t turn back on his decision to retire and return to Old Trafford, would he…?
4. Jurgen Klopp
When Mirror Sport ran a recent poll asking United fans who they wanted as their next boss, Klopp came out on top by a distance.
He is charismatic, energetic, plays excellent football, develops youth – and wins trophies.
In five seasons at Borussia Dortmund, he has claimed two Bundesliga titles, the German Cup and reached the final of last season’s Champions League.
Yet with the club about to lose another star player to domestic rivals Bayern Munich this summer – Robert Lewandowski – might the German decide he has taken the club as far as he can?
Klopp enjoys a project and restoring of one of the world’s biggest football clubs to their former glories could tempt him.
However, he appeared to rule himself out of the running on Tuesday. “Man United is a great club and I feel very familiar with their wonderful fans. But my commitment to Borussia Dortmund and the people is not breakable,” he told the Guardian.
5. Ryan Giggs
The Welshman’s name is inextricably linked with United’s glories under Sir Alex Ferguson – and he is the man the club have turned to as the interim boss.
During a 24-year playing career he has won 13 Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups and two Champions Leagues, making him the most decorated player in the history of English football.
This season he has combined (occasional) appearances as a player with a place on the United coaching staff.
So he’d be a novice and it would be a gamble to appoint him as manager for the long term, but he’d be a popular choice with a wide section of the support – perhaps in tandem with a more experienced director of football?
6. Diego Simeone
The Argentine is widely regarded as the best young manager in European football, having led Atletico Madrid to the top of La Liga and the Champions League semi-finals.
He’s abrasive and bullish – as he was as a player – and has crafted a committed and technically accomplished team.
The 43-year-old – who famously got David Beckham sent off at the 1998 World Cup – might decide now is the right time to take the plunge and move to one of the world’s biggest clubs.
7. Antonio Conte
A fine midfielder in his playing days, who has restored Juventus to their former greatness once more.
His managerial career began in the lower leagues, where he got both Bari and Siena promoted, before earning a chance at his former club, the ‘Old Lady’ of Italian football.
Juve are now on course to win their third straight league title under the 44-year-old’s clever leadership.
Conte is tactically astute and innovative, although his lack of impact in the Champions League might concern the Old Trafford hierarchy.
8. Pep Guardiola
Almost invented a new approach to the game, with his fast-pressing, possession-based style at Barcelona.
It yielded impressive results, with three consecutive La Liga titles, two Spanish Cups and two Champions Leagues.
He left Barca for a sabbatical in 2012, but has carried on where he left off at Bayern Munich, securing the Bunesliga with several games to spare and reaching the Champions League semis.
His track record and attractive style of play would make him a huge hit at United. Indeed he was one of the favourites to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson – not least because he is close to the legendary manager.
But would he leave Bayern?
9. Fabio Capello
Indisputably one of the top managers of the last 30 years, with a proven track record of success at the highest level.
He has won seven league titles with three different clubs in two countries, as well as managing England and Russia.
Yet, at 67, he would not be a long-term appointment and was hardly a huge success with England.
Furthermore, he has just signed a four-year contract extension to manager Russia until the end of the 2018 World Cup. Unlikely.
10. Frank de Boer
De Boer was a hugely successful player who has slipped seamlessly into maagement with Ajax.
The Dutch giants are on the verge of their fourth consecutive Eredivisie title under De Boer, although they were surprisingly battered 5-1 by Zwolle in the final of the domestic cup last weekend.
De Boer has achieved his success on a relatively modest budget (by European standards), while playing attractive football, with a host of academy products.
Unsurprisingly, he has been linked with a move to the Premier League, with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy a known admirer.