It’s been the management saga that has engulfed much of the season. After his axing from Tottenham Hotspur, Mauricio Pochettino has been heavily linked with the Manchester United job.
With the clubs form erratic, it was considered by media pundits alike, that Solskjaer would unceremoniously step down from the opportunity he was criminally given – making way for one of Europe’s most promising managers.
This weekend’s fixture may have reframed things for the clubs upper hierarchy.
Undoubtedly, Solskjaer’s real test will be Champions League qualification, however, United swept aside Manchester City this weekend, the third time the United boss has managed to do so this season.
The fact that no manager since Sir Alex Ferguson has managed the feat will undoubtedly earn the Norwegian extra credits come his end of season review.
It’s rare that City are outplayed, the fact is that the Old Trafford side dominated proceedings, looking the most dangerous throughout and making one of the greatest sides of the Premier League era appear toothless.
Both Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay capitalised on City mistakes to make their club unbeaten in 10 matches. Form that has delighted their manager as well as people who are using sign up bonuses.
“The desire, attitude, commitment, connection between fans and players pleased me most. With all the clean sheets we have been getting it’s impressive, we are getting better. At times we pressed them, pushed them back,” Solskjaer said post match.
“We tried to be aggressive. We made them make mistakes and we are happy with the result. For me it shows we are on the right track and improving and we are Manchester United and looking to catch the teams in front of us. [But] this is one game.”
The result is no doubt a coup for Solskaer, but can United afford to let Pochettino slip through their fingers?
It’s been quite cruelly suggested that Ed Woodward was buying players off the Argentinians shortlist, rather than Solskjaer’s in January.
After all, Bruno Fernandes, a player credited with turning around the clubs fortunes in the space of a fortnight, was also a Spurs target during Pochettino’s reign – strangely United changed their tune on him after snubbing him previously.
Whilst the theory is intriguing, two of Europe’s top jobs may just be available this summer.
Both Juventus and Real Madrid are precariously close to exiting the Champions League, not to mention far from certainties to claim their domestic league titles.
Both jobs would undoubtedly raise the interest of Pochettino.
Like United, the sides are enduring a period of transition, both calling out for a young management genius to be moulded in his inimitable style.
Such big management casualties such as Maurizio Sarri and Zinedine Zidane could spark a transfer merry go round. Solsjaer may breath a sigh of relief if Pochettino ends up at either club, perhaps the prospect of three-time Champions League winner Zidane luring over his job may be even worse.
One factor working in the Norwegian’s favour is that Juve themselves will want to make Zidane their man – with a potential move back to the club where he spent his greatest playing years, not to mention managing Cristiano Ronaldo again, Zidane may find the opportunity too attractive to pass on.
Which leaves Real Madrid with an unattached Pochettino. A manager who hates Barcelona almost as much as they do.
United will no doubt watch the situation with great interest.