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red mist Speculation mounts over Solskjaer's Man United future as bookies slash odds on leading candidate

Conte is now 15/8 favourite ahead of Zinedine Zidane to take over at Old Trafford

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under growing pressure (Martin Rickett/PA)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under growing pressure (Martin Rickett/PA)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under growing pressure (Martin Rickett/PA)

Manchester United are refusing to offer any comment on increasing speculation that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is about to be replaced as the club's manager.

United chiefs have continued to insist they will back Solskjaer despite mounting criticism in recent weeks, but those same voices have declined to offer any comment on what happens next after Sunday's 5-0 defeat against Liverpool at Old Trafford.

United legends have been united in their condemnation of the attitude of the United players and the tactical planning of Solskjaer and his coaching team in the aftermath of the mauling at the hands of Liverpool.

Now there is growing speculation that Solskjaer could be removed from his post before Saturday's Premier League game at Tottenham, with inevitable reports emerging suggesting some players are unhappy with the manager and his coaching methods.

Those reports tend to precede a managerial change, while the lack of vocal backing from United sources when pressed for comment may also suggest the end is nigh for Solskjaer.

While Jose Mourinho received huge pay-out of £19.6 million when he was replaced by Solskjaer in December 2018, Solskjaer's pay-out is believed to be have been capped at £7million if United decide to change managerial direction now.

Now word has emerged from Italy suggesting former Chelsea and Inter Milan head coach Antonio Conte is keen to replace Solskjaer at United, with bookies slashing their odds on the Italian taking over on Monday afternoon.

Conte is now 15/8 favourite ahead of Zinedine Zidane to take over at Old Trafford, with the appointment of either candidate signalling a huge change of direction for a club that has tried to embrace Solskjaer's approach in the last three years.

While Conte has suggested he is keen to have a year away from the game after his exit from Inter Milan last summer, the reports from Italy claim he would change that plan if he was offered the United job.

Meanwhile, Luke Shaw is the latest United player to apologise for their performance in the Liverpool game, as he told the club's website that this was not a moment for excused.

"We are all so disappointed," said Shaw. "It is not good enough for the standards this club sets. We should be challenging for leagues and for trophies. We haven't been doing that for a while now. It is not what this club expects.

"We all want to be doing that but with performances like that there is no way we can be doing that. We have to be honest, we have to be honest with ourselves in the changing room, speak about it.

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"It is better to speak about it than keep it inside and not say anything, and to just carry on. Not just today, but the last few weeks we haven't been good enough.

"We might have won the games, but performance-wise in games we could feel that sometimes we weren't in control and we concede a lot of chances. That should not happen, we know that, we need to work on things and tonight we will reflect on what happened and what went wrong.

"Tomorrow is a new day and we need to forget about this. Of course, it is going to be really tough to do that, but we will reflect tonight, wake up tomorrow and we have to go again.

"I know it is quite cliched to say 'we have to go again', people have probably heard that a lot and it is probably not what they want to hear now, but we are professionals, it is our jobs. We need to improve, not just as individuals but as a team. It is nowhere near good enough."

Next Manchester United manager odds (Paddy Power)

Antonio Conte 15/8

Zinedine Zidane 9/2

Brendan Rodgers 15/2

Mauricio Pochettino 10/1

Erik ten Hag 11/1

Graham Potter 14/1

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