When the club confirmed earlier this week that Rene Meulensteen was set to leave United it was under the assumption that he had been offered a demoted role by David Moyes, who has been keen to bring in his own staff.
Rene was a popular figure amongst the players, with Robin van Persie singling him out as the best coach he’d worked with, and he was well-liked by the fans. Whenever United paraded a Premier League trophy around Old Trafford, Meulensteen seemed to take great pleasure in celebrating with the fans and gave the impression of a supporter who’d somehow managed to get on to the pitch.
Meulensteen has been tipped to join Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala alongside fellow Dutchman Guus Hiddink. Having worked with Sir Alex Ferguson, it makes sense for him to want to work with another world class manager.
However, it has been revealed today that Moyes, who has seen to the exits of Eric Steele and Mike Phelan, was keen to keep Rene on and even offered him the position of assistant manager.
It would be cynical to claim that it will just be the Russian club’s money that has swayed him, but it would be naive to think that this hasn’t played a part.
There were reports that Meulensteen was wary of remaining at the club because of Moyes’ hands on approach in training which would leave him more marginalised than in the role he enjoyed under Fergie.
Still, fancy down turning down the opportunity to be the assistant manager at the champions of England to be a coach in Russia? Disappointing.