Man Utd appointing Mauricio Pochettino moves closer after PSG contact Zinedine Zidane
Manchester United sack Ole Gunnar after Watford defeat
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Manchester United appointing Mauricio Pochettino has taken a giant step closer after Paris Saint-Germain reportedly made contact with Zinedine Zidane about taking over at the Parc des Princes. The Red Devils recently sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, just hours after a chastening defeat to Watford. And they want Pochettino to take over, having admired the Argentine for a number of years.
United lost 4-1 to Watford on Saturday, slumping to a seventh defeat from their last 13 matches in the process.
And Solskjaer was relieved of his duties in the aftermath, with the Norwegian losing his job after nearly three years in charge.
United have insisted they want an interim boss to take over until the summer, leading to links to the likes of Steve Bruce, Ralf Rangnick and Laurent Blanc.
Yet Pochettino is the man they want for the long-term, having been huge admirers of the 49-year-old over the years.
And ESPN now say PSG have made contact with Zidane, who remains out of work following his summer departure from Real Madrid.
The Frenchman has also been linked with United but the job doesn’t appeal to him or his wife, Veronique.
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And PSG are preparing for the possible departure of Pochettino, who only replaced Thomas Tuchel at the Parc des Princes back in January.
United and Pochettino’s paths seem intwined after years of mutual respect from both sides.
The Red Devils contemplated hiring him as Louis van Gaal’s replacement in 2016, only to end up going for Jose Mourinho instead.
Mourinho was available at the time, having been sacked by Chelsea the previous year, and won two trophies during his spell in the Old Trafford dugout.
When the current Roma boss was sacked in December 2018, United planned to appoint Solskjaer temporarily before going for Pochettino at the end of the season.
But when the Norwegian got the best from his players, Ed Woodward and the Glazers decided to give him the job permanently.
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Regarding Zidane, meanwhile, PSG feel his pragmatic approach and his man management are suited to their star-studded squad.
And it would be fascinating to see him managing Lionel Messi, especially after years of coaching Cristiano Ronaldo during his time with Real Madrid.
It’s noted Pochettino hasn’t told PSG’s chiefs he could potentially leave and United, contrary to other reports, haven’t made a move.
Yet it seems only a matter of time before the Red Devils press ahead with their interest and try and make him their fifth manager of the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.
Former Tottenham star Jamie O’Hara, meanwhile, has questioned why Pochettino would go to United.
“It was the worst performance I’ve ever seen from Manchester United,” he said after the defeat to Watford.
“We’re all sitting there saying Ole has to go but when it happens, we’re thinking: ‘Who’s going to come in?’
“Antonio Conte was the perfect manager and they missed a trick with him.
“He was waiting for the Man United job and he’d have taken it if he was asked, but he wasn’t asked, so he took the Spurs job now, now we have him and I think he’s going to be a success.
“But, talking about Pochettino, I think he’s the perfect manager for Manchester United – but why would he leave PSG? He’s got Mbappe and Messi in his team!
“If Manchester United want Pochettino, they can’t wait until the end of the season to see what happens, they need him now!
“You can’t wait until the summer to get a manager. What, are you writing off the 26 games you’ve got left? Come on, you’re Manchester United!
“He’d be perfect to come in now. Get him out of PSG!”
He added: “I look at the board at Manchester United and think, do they have a plan? Do they have a plan on how they want to take this club forward?
“Solskjaer should have been sacked two months ago, that decision came too late, and now they’ve left themselves in a position where everyone’s settled in their clubs now.
“If they tried for Pochettino in the summer they’d get him out, he would have left, but now he wouldn’t swap PSG for Man United.
“he’s guaranteed a title at PSG, they’re walking away with the league already.
“And as if he’s going to leave a squad with Mbappe and Messi mid-season and have Fred and McTominay!”
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