The best coaches who once turned down Manchester United

Manchester United are one of the biggest clubs in world football, but their stature doesn’t guarantee success. This list demonstrates brilliant managers who turned down the chance to take the hotseat at Old Trafford. You can bet on the teams of these great coaches via

Since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, United have struggled to regain their glory days under his successors like David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

We’ve gone through the history books and highlighted 6 managers who declined United’s.

Jurgen Klopp

It’s well known that Klopp rejected United’s approaches in 2013 and 2015 before joining rivals Liverpool and guiding them to Champions League and Premier League glory.

«We spoke, not a lot but for me it was a big honour. But I couldn’t leave Dortmund midway through planning for next season with incoming players. That doesn’t work for me. I had to finish my job at Dortmund first», – Klopp said about United’s 2013 approach.

Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler claimed Klopp also rejected United in 2015 because he disliked their commercial focus over identity and history.

Pep Guardiola

According to former United player Jordi Cruyff, Guardiola was close to taking the United job in 2013 before they appointed Moyes.

«I felt there was a moment when things were lined up for Guardiola at United many years ago. But they took a different path. Just imagine how different things could have been had Guardiola taken over…», – Cruyff said.

Zinedine Zidane

The three-time Champions League winning boss has been repeatedly linked with United but has distanced himself from the role. Sources claim he isn’t keen on managing in England.

After Zidane’s ex-teammate Emmanuel Petit claimed he was taking English lessons, Zidane rejected replacing Solskjaer. He seems more interested in becoming France manager after Didier Deschamps.

«I understand English but I’m not fluent. I know some coaches go to clubs without the language but I work differently. Many things are needed to win», – Zidane said about links to United.

Arsene Wenger

Before retiring in 2018, Ferguson planned to retire in 2002. He changed his mind but not before holding talks with rival Wenger about replacing him.

Former United chairman Martin Edwards said: «Our first choice was Wenger. But he chose to stay loyal to Arsenal and reject our advances».

Carlo Ancelotti

In 2013 when Ferguson retired, United approached Ancelotti who was at PSG. However, he felt obligated to Real Madrid who had shown interest.

«I still keep a fantastic relationship with Fergie after we met when he decided to retire. But I was close to Real Madrid so I appreciate he talked to me but no other opportunity came», – Ancelotti reflected.

United appointed Moyes while Ancelotti has won multiple Champions Leagues.

Roberto Mancini

Mancini also rejected United’s approach to replace Solskjaer. As a former Man City boss, his appointment would’ve been problematic.

He was also coaching Italy after their Euro 2020 triumph and wanted to lead them to the 2022 World Cup. After failing to qualify, he now manages Saudi Arabia.