Paris Saint-Germain knock back Manchester United approach for Mauricio Pochettino
The Red Devils are currently in the market for a new manager to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Norwegian was relieved of his duties earlier this week following a poor start to the season. Michael Carrick is currently the caretaker manager while the club searches for Solskjaer’s successor.
While several names are under consideration, the club appears to have taken a fancy for former Tottenham Hotspur boss, Pochettino. Currently in charge of PSG, landing him could prove tricky.
The French giants appear to be in no mood to part with their man and have knocked back United’s first approach for his services. While there appears to be some optimism at Old Trafford that they could land their man, it could prove easier said than done.
This is not the first time that Man United have been linked to the Argentine either. He was seen as the favoured choice to take over from Jose Mourinho as the club’s full-time manager in 2019.
However, Solskajer’s caretaker spell in charge proved so effective that he was offered the job instead. Whether there is a sense of Deja vu surrounding Michael Carrick this time around remains to be seen.
Pochettino guided Tottenham to the UEFA Champions League final in 2019 but parted ways with the club later that year. While he may be in charge of PSG, his performance as the manager is far from stellar.
The French giants surrendered their Ligue 1 crown to LOSC Lille last season and, despite having a wonderful summer, are second-best in their Champions League group this season.
Pochettino’s experience of having managed in England is a welcome factor in his favour. However, while he did a good job at Spurs, they always fell short of the final hurdle. It is reminiscent of Solskjaer’s reign, where United could never cross the finish line despite numerous excellent cup runs.
Found out or just a poor match?
Whether his spell at PSG has shown the limit of Pochettino’s abilities also remains to be seen. The Ligue 1 leaders appear to lack cohesion and, despite their star-studded lineup, have failed to fire all cylinders. As things stand, Pochettino has yet to find the right system to get the best out of his players.
The fact that they are top of the French top-flight has more to do with the disproportionate distribution of quality in the league more than anything else. These shortcomings have, however, been brutally exposed in Europe. Usually a man with a plan, he has shown little tactical acumen at PSG.
Whether it is a matter of him being a poor fit for PSG or just being caught out of his depth remains to be seen. Either way, United will be better served waiting until the summer to judge Pochettino rather than rush into appointing him midseason.
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United have struggled to find the right man who can rebuild the club following Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure in 2013. Eight years on, they have an opportunity to set things straight and bring in the right man to rebuild the side as a bastion of invincibility.
While hiring Pochettino has his positives, due diligence will need to be done before going through with the decision. After all, he could just prove to be the wrong man at the right time.