Mauricio Pochettino was the clear frontrunner for the Old Trafford gig when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was axed six months ago, but it appears Manchester United have gone in another direction
Mauricio Pochettino’s dream was to land the Manchester United job, but it has turned out to be a living nightmare for the Paris Saint-Germain boss.
The Argentine was the clear frontrunner for the Old Trafford gig when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was axed six months ago, but it appears the Red Devils have gone in another direction. Erik ten Hag has verbally agreed to be the next United manager as he is set to leave Ajax at the end of the season, and will sign a three-year deal.
The Athletic claims that senior officials at United were impressed with what Pochettino offered but it was ultimately Ten Hag’s ability to win silverware that gave him the edge over the former Tottenham head coach.
So what comes next for Pochettino? PSG were happy to facilitate his potential move to Old Trafford hinting that his time is up at the Parc des Princes. Here are five potential landing spots for him.
Speculation is rife that Carlo Ancelotti will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season despite the fact he is likely to lead them to a La Liga title. The Italian also guided the Spanish giants to a Champions League semi-final with a victory over Chelsea on Tuesday night in what’s been a successful return to the Bernabeu after leaving Everton.
But if Madrid are on the lookout for a new man, they’ll likely turn to Pochettino considering they have already made two attempts to sign him in recent years. He would be a perfect candidate to lead the inevitable rebuild in Spain’s capital with the likes of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema at the tail end of their careers.
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If Pochettino wants to experience a new league, the Serie A would be the ideal destination for him with Juventus reportedly looking for a new manager. The Turin club have suffered a disappointing season under Massimiliano Allegri with the Italians currently in fourth position in the table.
Juve are in transition at the moment, however, but there are question marks over whether Allegri is the man to lead the rebuild. Pochettino would be the perfect replacement to galvanise them and get them back to being title contenders.
A return to Tottenham looks unlikely but cannot be ruled out either. It might look rosy for Spurs under Antonio Conte at the moment, but that can change in a blink of an eye. Just ask Inter Milan.
The Italian has already expressed his frustration with the squad at his disposal and who is to say that isn’t still lingering. The silver lining for the north Londoners is that Pochettino is waiting in the wings if it all hits the fan with Conte.
Pochettino has not hidden his desire to return to the Premier League and Spurs is an attractive proposition given their successful time together. Let’s not forget that chairman Daniel Levy attempted to bring him back before they turned to Conte so the feeling is clearly mutual.
It seems unthinkable that Chelsea would voluntarily part ways with Thomas Tuchel given what he’s achieved at Stamford Bridge in such a short space of time, but the uncertainty surrounding the new club has put his future in doubt.
The Blues still have to appoint new owners which means there are question marks over every player and the manager at the minute. Tuchel was linked with the Manchester United job last month, as a result, but insists he remains committed to Chelsea.
He said: “I have said many times that I love to be here and this club has everything it needs to make me happy. There is no need. We have plenty of reasons to stay at the moment. I do my best and I’ve felt the support here in the club since day one. That makes me feel safe and then I do my best to play my role and push things forward.”
Pochettino would certainly come under consideration if Tuchel departs and although he would entertain a return to England, it remains to be seen if he would join Spurs’ city rivals.
Paris Saint-Germain doesn’t technically count as a new club but people are just assuming that Pochettino is on the way out, forgetting he is still under contract for another season.
What if he can turn their fortunes around? The Ligue 1 club are on course to winning the French title, righting the wrong from last year, but it’s their success (or lack of) in the Champions League under the Argentine is what has been widely criticised.
PSG suffered an embarrassing collapse against Real Madrid but their talent cannot be questioned. If Pochettino can get the right tune out of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe – if he stays beyond next season – who says that both parties can’t work things out.