Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has tipped ex-Man United coach to become manager - but it's not Kieran McKenna

Manchester United icon Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
-Credit: (Image: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)


Kieran McKenna emerged as a potential candidate to take over the reins at Manchester United, following his impressive spell at Ipswich Town, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has tipped another his former assistants for a future managerial role at Old Trafford.

The club is currently conducting a thorough review of the season, which comes in the wake of their recent FA Cup victory against Manchester City, and this could have implications for Erik ten Hag's tenure. McKenna, who has been linked alongside names like Thomas Tuchel, Mauricio Pochettino, Thomas Frank and Graham Potter, has a special connection with United, having now secured consecutive promotions with Ipswich since his departure from Old Trafford in 2021.

During his five-year stint at United, McKenna progressed from U18s manager to assistant coach under Jose Mourinho and retained the position when Solskjaer took charge. Michael Carrick, who worked closely with Solskjaer and McKenna, was also influential during the Norwegian's three-year managerial period in his work as a coach.

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Solskjaer himself, who managed United from 2018 to 2021, has expressed his belief in Carrick's capabilities as a manager. Speaking to The Athletic in May 2023, he said: "He's a winner, a massive winner, yet he stays in control of his emotions. He knows what he wants and doesn't lose his rag.

"He'll never be emotional and fight with the players. As a player, you'd want to do well for Michael because he cares about you. He wants you to be the best you can be.

"If I was a player, I'd want him as a manager because he wouldn't be unreasonable. He knows what he wants. He demands respect and hard work, but he gives it back as well.

"He's knowledgeable, he's hard-working. When I was at United in 2018, I have to say that Michael and Kieran were usually in the office before me. They were meticulous, looking at every detail.

"Michael has had to change a little bit since becoming a manager. He was maybe too into the details as a coach, but as a manager, you have to take a step back and manage people.

"At United, I'd sometimes see Michael talk to the players. Some of these were ex-team-mates of his which isn't easy, but he had an authority about him.

"I am 100 per cent sure that Michael will be the manager of Manchester United if he wants to be." Carrick oversaw two wins and a draw in the three games he took on as interim manager after Solskjaer's sacking.

In October 2022, he became Middlesbrough's manager, taking them from 21st to fourth in the Championship in his first season. This term, he guided Boro to the Carabao Cup semi-finals and beat Chelsea 1-0 at home in the first leg before a 6-1 second-leg defeat.

Carrick isn't in the frame to become United boss in the near future, but he has received a strong endorsement from his former colleague.