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Ex-Watford, scout Karlsen: Conte too close to Mourinho for Man Utd to hire

Former Watford and Bayer Leverkusen scout Tor-Kristian Karlsen will be surprised if Manchester United sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Karlsen argues the lack of available replacements could save Solskjaer. Now a pundit on Norwegian TV, Karlsen has extensive experience in scouting across Europe and has also worked as a sporting director.

Knowing Solskjaer is under pressure after United's collapse at home to Liverpool on Sunday, Karlsen has questioned the speculation linking former Inter Milan and Chelsea manager Antonio Conte to the Norwegian's job.

He told VG: "They risk that if they pick the wrong person, things can go even worse with a new coach.

"Solskjaer has had a unifying effect and one who does not create the big conflicts. It was another counter-reaction after (Jose) Mourinho, who stood for the opposite - a constant fuss and loose cannon in the media."

Indeed, Karlsen has questioned United's interest in Conte given his history of clashing with boards and owners. The Italian walked out on Inter last summer after being left frustrated by the potential sale of their best players as the club's owners Suning were plunged into financial crisis.

Karlsen continued: "Therefore, they are probably also careful against hiring Conte, who is constantly driven by 'war' against his own superiors and, among other things, withdrew from Inter after taking league gold this spring.

"It is often the case that the best and most skilled coaches also have strong opinions of their own."

For the moment, Solskjaer appears safe after taking training at Carrington this week.

- updated October 27

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