Graham Potter

Manchester United rejected the chance to appoint Graham Potter as their new manager due to his lack of Champions League experience, it can be revealed.

United were on the lookout for a new boss after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked last November, and Ralf Rangnick took on the role on a interim basis before Erik ten Hag was appointed as the club’s new manager in April.

New Chelsea boss Potter was on the shortlist to take the reigns at Old Trafford, but he was turned down due to his inexperience in Europe, despite the fact ten Hag had never worked in the Premier League before.

United failed to qualify for the Champions League last season, instead finding themselves in the Europa League.

Potter, meanwhile, was announced as the new Chelsea manager yesterday, a club in the group stages of Europe’s most prestigious competition having won it just two years ago.

‘I am incredibly proud and excited to represent Chelsea FC, this fantastic football club,’ the 47-year-old said upon his appointment as Blues boss.

‘I am very excited to partner with Chelsea’s new ownership group and look forward to meeting and working with the exciting group of players and to develop a team and culture that our amazing fans can be proud of.’

It remains to be seen how he will do in both domestic and European competitions, but he arrives after impressive spells domestically with Brighton and Swansea.

ten Hag meanwhile, though enjoyed success in the Champions League with Ajax, had never managed in England.

The Dutchman lost his first two games of the Premier League season at United – 2-1 and 4-0 to Potter’s Brighton and Brentford respectively – but has since won four league games in a row, including victories over Liverpool and Arsenal.

Chelsea have shown faith in Potter by handing him a five-year deal and appointing the trusted staff unit he felt he needed around him to be successful.

Collaboration and communication are also key. The lack of both in their relationship with former manager Thomas Tuchel were factors in his downfall.

Potter is due to take charge of his first Chelsea game tomorrow away at Fulham, though Premier League games are in doubt following the death of Her Majesty The Queen.

An announcement on whether this weekend’s fixtures will take place is expected shortly.


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