3. Laurent Blanc
Blanc’s name has been the most recent to emerge in connection with the Manchester United manager position, though the initial source was the Daily Star so it’s anyone’s guess as to the reality of the link.
But the French manager has quite an impressive record in his short experience as manager. In his first season at Bordeaux, Blanc propelled his side to finish in second in Ligue 1. The next season, the former Manchester United player further improved by pushing his team to win the league via 11 consecutive wins to finish the season. On the European stage, Bordeaux finished top in their group in the Champions League in 2009/10 without losing a match, ahead of Juventus and Bayern Munich.
In his current spell at PSG, Blanc has cemented his position as the top manager in France by winning the league in all three seasons in charge. Additionally, his two victories of Ligue 1 Manager of the Season and a winning percentage of over 60% for his career make him highly desirable.
Of course, the French league is an entirely different level of competition, arguably far inferior to that of the Premier League. Blanc might face adversity in his transition to English football, but he has proven more than capable of exceeding the expectations set for him. Blanc would be my second choice to replace van Gaal, behind Pochettino.
Next: Second most likely replacement