Manchester United have been described as ‘hopeful’ of appointing current Orlando Pride coach Marc Skinner as a replacement for former boss Casey Stoney, who resigned more than two months ago amid frustrations over facilities.
United’s protracted search for a new manager has been the source of much concern from fans and players alike, leading the latter to collectively approach the PFA for advice and guidance.
The lack of a manager since the end of the season has seen recruitment for the new 2021/22 campaign remain limited and Stoney is believed to have been heavily involved in the capture of Norway midfielder Vilde Boe Risa, United’s only new arrival so far.
Despite recent optimism that United had settled on a new manager and were in the process of finalising a deal, the Telegraph reports that there is still ‘some way to go’ before a deal is struck with Skinner as talks with Orlando Pride are ongoing.
But even though it is not yet a done deal, it is said that United players are already ‘excited’ by the prospect of being able to work with Skinner.
Indeed, if United can pull it off, the appointment of the 38-year-old would be seen as a coup to bring one of the brightest English coaches in the women’s game back to the WSL.
Skinner, who is married to former England defender Laura Bassett, was previously in charge of Birmingham, guiding the Blues to the 2017 FA Cup final and fifth place in the WSL in 2017/18. He also had them fourth in the standings when he left for Orlando in January 2019 and that was where they stayed for the rest of that season, finishing only two points behind Chelsea in the end.
Since the end of last season, United have lost influential defender Amy Turner, who is currently playing for Skinner in Orlando, as well as USWNT pair Tobin Heath and Christen Press. Teenage prodigy Lauren James is also expected to leave for Chelsea.
With recruitment key if Champions League qualification is to be a realistic aim, Boe Risa remains United’s only new signing of the summer. However, the deal agreed with Chelsea for the transfer of James is thought to include an as yet un-named player arriving in part-exchange.