Politics

Paul Scholes disagrees with Gary Neville on Antonio Conte amid Manchester United links



Paul Scholes has backed Manchester United to move for Tottenham Hotspur head coach Antonio Conte in their pursuit of a permanent replacement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Conte, who took over the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in November, was, as reported by the Manchester Evening News back in October, open to becoming United’s next manager, should the club have decided to sack Solskjaer.

However, United, of course, retained Solskjaer’s services for a little while longer and by the time he was sacked, Conte had already taken charge in north London, replacing Nuno Espirito Santo, even though United’s hierarchy are understood to have held concerns about whether or not the Italian would have been the correct fit.

Nevertheless, United, of course, did sack Solskjaer a few weeks later and replaced him with Ralf Rangnick on an interim basis, meaning their search for a permanent replacement is still ongoing.

But despite links with the likes of Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag, former United man Scholes believes United should pursue a move for Conte, insisting he believes the club could still convince him to swap the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for Old Trafford.

Speaking on the Webby & O’Neill YouTube channel, Scholes said: “When you think of Antonio Conte, the timing looked ideal. Some say he’s not suited to Man United, but you see what he’s done at Tottenham with the squad that is nowhere near as good as United’s squad.

“They will probably challenge for top-four and I think United missed a trick with him.”

Comparing Conte to the likes of Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel, Scholes added: “Conte at Tottenham and Pochettino, those are the managers we want. Conte, he’s up there with Guardiola, he’s up there with Tuchel and he’s up there with Klopp.

“I still think United could get him from Tottenham. Tottenham fans won’t like me for saying that, but you can see that he’s already getting frustrated with his squad of players, he’s asking for other things. I think he could do something special here, Conte.”

Scholes’ view on the Italian differs from that of former United team-mate Gary Neville, who, following the 5-0 defeat to Liverpool in October, suggested that Conte would not be the right “fit” for United, as the pressure, at the time, mounted on Solskjaer.

Neville said: “I wouldn’t bring Conte in to United. He’s not a fit for United.

“I might be wrong but I don’t think that he is. I think it would be wrong to sack Ole today. I sacked a manager after six games last season, it was the wrong thing to do, I should’ve let things breathe.”

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