The current Leicester City boss has been one of the names most regularly touted with succeeding Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick come the end of the season
Brendan Rodgers has been forced to distance himself from the Manchester United job in a number of press conferences, but his shoddy form in European competition and dressing room bust-ups may do all the talking for him.
Currently at the helm of LeicesterCity, Rodgers is widely viewed as one of the better managers currently working in the Premier League, in turn leading to speculation over him taking over at Old Trafford come the end of the season.
With current United boss Ralf Rangnick only in charge on an interim basis until the end of the current campaign, Rodgers has been faced with a number of questions grilling him over his potential interest in the United hot seat.
However, if the remainder of the season is an audition for the Northern Irishman – he is failing miserably.
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Elimination from the Europa League group stage is hardly the kind of form likely to catch the eye of those at the top of the United hierarchy.
The Foxes fell at the first hurdle and as a result will fall into the Europa Conference League having finished two points behind both Spartak Moscow and Napoli in their group, winning just two of their six group stage contests.
Following a final 3-2 defeat by Napoli, Rodgers raised eyebrows with his post-match remarks, conceding he doesn’t actually know about the new competition his side will participate in.
Leicester will be forced to enter the competition’s latter stages via a play-off in February, but Rodgers told BT Sport: “I have to be honest – I don’t even know what the competition is in all fairness. I was focused on the Europa League and winning this group.
“At the very least, finishing second so with all due respect to the competition, I’m not sure what it is. I’m sure I’ll find out soon enough.”
Their faltering form across the continent should not come as much of a surprise given Rodgers’ abysmal record when it comes to leading his teams in European competition.
Across his managerial career, Rodgers has overseen 36 Europa League contests with Liverpool, Celtic and Leicester – 14 of which have ended in defeat, failing to make it past the first knock-out round.
His record in the Champions League is even worse which will undoubtedly be a concern for those pulling the strings at United, as Rodgers has won just two of his 18 games as a manager in European club football’s most elite competition.
Most alarmingly, after 18 games managed – Rodgers Champions League record also has a minus 28 goal difference.
A number of Rodgers less desirable traits from his previous stints in charge of Liverpool and Celtic appear to have followed him to the King Power, including his tendency to clash with high-profile figures within the dressing room.
There have been reports of fall-outs with both Hamza Choudhury and James Maddison after the pair breached the club’s Covid-19 safety regulations at the tail-end of last season.
“My objective coming into Leicester was to create a standard on and off the pitch.” Rodgers said in response to the incident.
“The standards fell way below what we expect, in particular at this stage of the season when we’re fighting to finish off an exciting season.
“The guys who weren’t involved in the squad today would have been. As a consequence of the behaviour they weren’t.”
It is not the first time Rodgers has clashed with big profiles, his decision to bench Steven Gerrard when Liverpool took on Real Madrid back in 2014 is thought to have lead to a breakdown in the pair’s relationship.
If there is one thing United’s dressing room already has in abundance, it is star-power.
United’s hierarchy may be uneasy over the idea of Rodgers dealing with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho given the way he has handled big names previously.
Rodgers has of course insisted he has no intention of leaving the King Power mid-way through the season, he has previous with how that goes down with fans after his acrimonious departure from Celtic.
Whether an offer comes from the United board at the end of this term remains to be seen, but if Rodgers fails to give Leicester’s faltering season life the chances would appear remote.