Paul Merson makes bold prediction about Man United’s next manager

Paul Merson reckons that Gary Neville will be a candidate to take over from Louis van Gaal at Manchester United

Paul Merson believes that Gary Neville is lining himself up as a candidate to take over from Louis van Gaal at Manchester United.

The former Red Devils defender raised eyebrows with his decision to quit his role as a Sky Sports pundit and take charge of Valencia until the end of the season.

Neville will juggle his new duties at the Spanish club with his role as an England coach.

However, former Arsenal star Merson feels that Neville will be hoping to stake his claim as a contender to take charge at Old Trafford when Van Gaal steps down.

Merson wrote in his column for the Daily Star: “Louis van Gaal should be a worried man now Gary Neville has gone into management.

“I think it’s great for Gary that he’s landed the Valencia job. You need a lucky break in management and it’s a top job for him.

“But I think there must be an agenda to this job because he’s only going to be there until the end of the season.

“He might say otherwise, but he’s going to be a contender for the Manchester United job if he’s successful at Valencia.

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“People will be looking at the sort of football he plays and the results he gets, because Van Gaal is getting criticised for being too boring and not winning games.

“If United don’t win a trophy this season, which could easily happen, he is going to be under a lot of pressure next summer.

“I don’t know if Gary has one eye on the job, but he’d be a good fit and he’s going to be in the running for it if he does well in Spain.”

United head into Saturday’s Premier League game with West Ham United in third place in the Premier League table and one point behind joint leaders Manchester City and Leicester City.

The Red Devils finished fourth in Van Gaal’s first season in charge at Old Trafford.

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