Graham Potter ready to return to management amid Man Utd job links

  • Potter dismissed from Chelsea head coach role in April after difficult seven-month spell
  • The 48-year-old's reputation soared after impressive stint at Brighton
  • Current Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag under pressure after poor form
Graham Potter has been out of work since April
Graham Potter has been out of work since April / Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images

Graham Potter is ready to return to management eight months after losing his job as Chelsea head coach, 90min understands, amid reports linking him with Manchester United.

The 48-year-old signed a five-year contract to succeed Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge last September but lost his job in April after winning just 12 games in all competitions out of a possible 31.

Potter's departure was confirmed after a 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa, who have gone from strength to strength under the management of Europa League specialist Unai Emery.

90min understands that Potter has rejected the chance to take over at Lyon and Leicester since leaving Chelsea, with links to Championship strugglers Stoke City wide of the mark, but is now ready to return to management in 2024.

Reports have suggested that Potter is in the running to take over from Erik ten Hag at Manchester United, with the Red Devils in crisis after a disastrous start to the season. Tuesday's defeat to Bayern Munich - United's 12th in all competitions - saw them crash out of the Champions League, and their performance in Group A represented the club's worst campaign since the competition was reformatted in 1992.

United don't have the luxury of dropping into the Europa League either, after finishing bottom of a group containing Galatasaray and FC Copenhagen, and they sit sixth in the Premier League table after losing seven of the 16 games played to date.

The demoralising 3-0 defeat to Bournemouth at Old Trafford last weekend has heightened the pressure on Ten Hag, who has already had to bat away rumours of unrest in the dressing room, and uncertainty over the future of big-name players has added further fuel to the fire.

Erik ten Hag
The pressure is growing on Erik ten Hag at Manchester United / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Potter is the favourite with many bookmakers to succeed Ten Hag at Old Trafford, and would appear to have admirers within INEOS - the company chairmanned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe that is on the cusp of buying a 25% stake in United.

Indeed, Potter was one of the names in the frame to take over at OGC Nice - also owned by INEOS and Ratcliffe - prior to Francesco Farioli's appointment in June.

90min understands that members of United's proposed new management admire Potter's work, but there's currently no plans to make any significant changes in Manchester until a new football department has been established.

Results may ultimately dictate whether or not United have a change of heart on Ten Hag, but he has so far been backed to turn around the club's fortunes after years of underachievement. Off-field issues have dogged United, with their activity in the transfer market over recent years a particular bone of contention with many supporters, though there were signs of on-field improvement last year as the club ended a six-year trophy drought by winning the Carabao Cup.

Potter's résumé, meanwhile, includes a highly successful three-and-a-half year spell at Brighton, which laid the foundations for the club's upward trajectory, and spells at Swansea City and Ostersund - whom he took from Sweden's fourth tier to competing in the 2017/18 Europa League, famously beating Arsenal 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium along the way.