Louis Van Gaal
Pros: Very experienced with regards to big clubs. Got Bayern Munich to a Champions League final, and will instantly know what he's doing at United and command some respect. One got his cock and balls out during a team talk to illustrate a point, and if that isn't the sort of man you want on your side, then you don't know what you're talking about.
Cons: One title in fifteen years, not doing particularly well with the Netherlands (where he's not really made much at all out of ageing first-team veterans backed up by a ludicrous amount of younger talent - remind you of any other squad?) A bit uninspiring who would be very likely to get us back to competence but unlikely to see us launch a new era of glorious football.
Likelihood: The bookies' favourite.
TBB Verdict: A way down our list. Would be an uninspiring choice in our opinion.
Pros: Won titles and got to a Champions League final against the odds with Borussia Dortmund, has bought excellent players on the cheap and his sides play very good football. What's not to like?
Cons: Has not really managed at a top club before other than one which he has dragged to that position himself. The same was true of Ferguson of course, although his prior achievements were far more impressive. He also likes heavy metal and is a Christian and has therefore at some point in his life earnestly listened to Christian Metal.
Likelihood: One of the favourites, just beneath Van Gaal.
TBB Verdict: One of us has an irrational dislike for the man but overall it's hard to deny he'd be an inspired choice.
Pros: He's led Atletico Madrid to the brink of their first La Liga title since 1996, shattering the two-team domination in Spain. He plays an excellent counter-attacking game which could feasibly be described as a kind of ‘Ferguson 2.0' style, with a lot of high-tempo wing-play and fluidity up front.
Cons: Terrible, terrible hair.
Likelihood: The last few seasons at Atletico have transformed him into one of the most highly sought-after coaches in the world. He's a serious contender.
TBB Verdict: Would be a great appointment. TBB's favoured choice.
Pros: A United legend, someone who has universal respect in the dressing room and someone who knows the club inside out. Appeared to be responsible for some of the good points of Moyes' reign too, where he showed some decent tactical acumen in advising the manager and looked more like a leader than poor old Davey.
Cons: Obviously, he's not a manager. Also could end up with a dangerous situation where he could be difficult to remove, depending on how childish you think our support are. See the current Rangers and Celtic predicaments for the dangers of appointing a beloved former player.
Likelihood: The odds you'll get on this aren't too long, but nobody really knows. We could well see him manage the last few games of the season anyway. If he does well, expect a few people to make the suggestion.
TBB Verdict: We don't actually think this would be the disaster some people do, and he'd probably be fairly high up our list, but we'd still prefer a real manager.
Pros: Despite looking pretty ancient and having been around the block for ages, Prandelli is only 56. In a five-year spell at Fiorentina he led them into the knockout stages of the Champions League playing exciting, innovative football. Once he left, they almost immediately plunged out of Europe and almost into Serie B. Since taking charge of Italy in 2010 Prandelli has led them to a major tournament final, and has squeezed the maximum from a fairly unspectacular Azzurri side. Plus, he's about as nice as football managers come.
Cons: A lack of experience of the Premier League is probably the biggest con, though otherwise it's hard to think of any significant drawbacks.
Likelihood: He's a coach with a big enough reputation to be in the running, though it'd still be a surprise if he took charge.
TBB Verdict: Yes please, Ed.
Pros: He's revived Juventus' fortunes with a couple of consecutive Serie A titles (soon to be three). At only 44, he's a veritable toddler as far as managerial ages go, and seems to have a long career ahead of him
Cons: It's hard to gauge quite how good he is from his time at Juve. Even the TBB editors would probably sweep up a Scudetto with a team that had Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal in midfield. Conte's teams aren't particularly exciting to watch, and he's disappointed in the Champions League. Oh, and he favours a back three -- and we know how Roberto Mancini fared when he tried that in the Premier League.
Likelihood: Probably the most likely of all the Italians.
TBB Verdict: His style of football perhaps makes him a bigger risk than the likes of Montella or Garcia, despite his impressive CV. Steer clear.
Pros: He's won pretty much all there is to win, and has experienced life at some of the biggest clubs in the world. He famously rules with an iron fist, though whether that's a pro or a con I'm not quite sure ...
Cons: He's not exactly known for free-flowing, attacking football, and unlike some of the younger alternatives, he's no spring chicken. At 67, he wouldn't be at Old Trafford for the long-haul. His only prior experience in England was a pretty underwhelming spell in charge of the national team.
Likelihood: The odds aren't quite as long as some of his compatriots, though it would come as a huge surprise.
TBB Verdict: No thanks. Too old, and too conservative with his approach. Ideally we need a visionary to completely revamp the playing squad, and possibly playing style. Capello isn't that.
Pros: A youngish and pretty experienced manager who has just gone into a club full of prima donnas with high expectations and done pretty well. Mourinho-esque in his tactical ability, and has a link to United to boot.
Cons: Did some dodgy stuff in his France tenure, hasn't done anything tangibly impressive yet, and his PSG team can be dull at times. Also, would he leave? PSG have probably a bigger budget than United, as well as better players and the opportunity to live in the greatest city in the world.
Likelihood: The odds aren't that long, but we'd be stunned if it happened.
TBB Verdict: No thanks.
Pros: Like Van Gaal, has experience of big clubs, but has also briefly managed in the Premier League, and is the darling of Roman Abramovich. A big-name manager who will be very likely to at least not get things disastrously wrong.
Cons: Again like Van Gaal, could be slightly uninspiring in his ability to actually construct a team from scratch and is no spring chicken either. Would be a safe choice.
Likelihood: In with a reasonable shout but not one of the favourites.
TBB Verdict: Preferable to Van Gaal, but not by much. Slightly too safe for our devil-may-care liking.
Pros: Has delivered at both Catania and Fiorentina since becoming a full-time coach for the first time at the Sicilians back in 2011. He likes his sides to play an attacking, possession-based game, and he's proven to be tactically versatile. Courted by AC Milan recently, he's a man in demand.
Cons: He's still very inexperienced at only 39, and hasn't been exceptionally good at Fiorentina this season, looking set for a fourth-place finish despite big investment in the summer. Still, he's played a big part in the Viola's transformation from relegation strugglers to European qualifiers.
Likelihood: Very unlikely; he doesn't have the CV to match other contenders ... yet.
TBB Verdict: An extremely talented young coach who could go on to be one of the greats in the modern game. Would be a risk, but a good one.
Pros: Has delivered in both of his reasonably big positions at Lille and current club Roma. Plays excellent progressive football in a versatile 4-3-3, and has managed to convert a perpetually disappointing Giallorossi into Champions League qualifiers in the space of a season.
Cons: Doesn't have experience at clubs of United's stature, but otherwise there aren't too many massive drawbacks.
TBB Verdict: He appears to have all the attributes of an excellent coach. Would be a pretty good appointment.