United must move fast with vital window looming

Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:02pm EDT
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By Ed Osmond

LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester United must move quickly to appoint a new manager and give him maximum time to operate in what will be a critical transfer window for the club.

A season of abject failure under David Moyes brought a swift end to the former Everton manager's reign at Old Trafford and United will have to act equally decisively to install the right man to try to revive their fortunes.

Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal is the favorite and he has the necessary experience and record of success.

Carlo Ancelotti of Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund's Juergen Klopp have also been linked with the job, although the German appeared to rule himself out of contention on Tuesday.

But bringing in at least four top-quality internationals and moving out several ageing players and serial under-performers will not be an easy task.

The United defense needs a complete overhaul.

Center backs Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic were key players in United's success under Alex Ferguson but Vidic is joining Inter Milan and Ferdinand, 35, is also long past his sell-by date.

French left back Patrice Evra has given sterling service in eight years at the club but he too should be allowed to leave along with firebrand Brazilian right back Rafael, a talented attacking player but defensive liability.   Continued...