Man United face fight to keep their man

MANCHESTER United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is facing a fight to keep his Dutch coach Rene Meulensteen - with wealthy Qatar desperate to whisk him away. (Mirror)Meulensteen is wanted by the rich Arabs as the man to run their national football team and boost them as they bid for World Cup qualification - and lifting their status before a bid to host the finals.

MANCHESTER United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is facing a fight to keep his Dutch coach Rene Meulensteen - with wealthy Qatar desperate to whisk him away. (Mirror)

Meulensteen is wanted by the rich Arabs as the man to run their national football team and boost them as they bid for World Cup qualification - and lifting their status before a bid to host the finals.

The highly-rated Dutchman is one of Ferguson's top aides, working beside the manager and assistant Mike Phelan. Many think he is the 'brains' of the operation.

The Qataris already know Meulensteen from his time as their youth team manager, helping some of their better players to develop before he came to Old Trafford.


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Meulensteen also managed leading club sides in Qatar before Ferguson head-hunted him eight years ago as 'skills coach' - a role he revelled in and where he helped many young United players.

He left to manage Danish side Brondby but came back to Old Trafford where he is now a key figure in their push for honours - but could now be tempted away again.

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The 45-year-old, who is often seen as Fergie's closest confidant on the bench, will be offered a lucrative deal by the Qataris who failed to reach the World Cup finals after a disastrous campaign.

Despite heavy investment in recent years Qatar finished below Bahrain and won just one game out of eight in their section.

Far-travelled Frenchman Bruno Metsu is in charge of the side, but the Qataris are looking at a new appointment - and for someone who can oversee the whole of their football operation.

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