Manchester United and Mauricio Pochettino have seemed like a fateful partnership that has never materialised. It’s like a romantic comedy where they both have feelings for each other, but one of them is always in a relationship.
When United needed a new manager, Pochettino has been in a job, most recently with Paris Saint-Germain. When he has wanted United, they were happily content with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the helm.
The most recent instance of this occurred towards the end of last year when United’s relationship with Solskjaer soured. After several untenable results, the club decided to part ways with the Norwegian.
MEN Sport understands that United approached PSG for Pochettino. Still, the French club were unwilling to part ways with the Argentinian coach halfway through the season without a ready-made replacement waiting in the wings.
This led United to appoint Ralf Rangnick as their interim manager until the end of the season. This meant that they would wait until summer to approach several managers who would have been unwilling to leave their clubs in the middle of the season, like Erik ten Hag at Ajax, who is also reportedly towards the top of the club’s shortlist.
But if reports in France are to be believed, United and Pochettino’s paths may finally cross. Le Parisien have reported that PSG are set to part ways with the Argentinian in the summer and could even do it earlier if the club fails to progress in the Champions League against Real Madrid.
The question is will United want him now PSG have seemingly worn him down?
During his time at the club, he has seen his team embarrassingly knocked out of the French Cup with a defeat against OCG Nice, and PSG inexplicably missed out on the Ligue 1 title to Lille in his first season at the club.
He has been struggling to accommodate big names into his squad, with Lionel Messi failing to impress since he moved to the club in the summer and overall, his style of football has been unable to impress the PSG fanbase.
There is no doubt that Pochettino is still a good manager, and PSG is a situation that can tank the reputation of any manager. Just take Thomas Tuchel before him, who the club sacked, joined Chelsea and then won the Champions League, the trophy which the French club clear covet the most.
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But is he the right manager to take United forward? The club will be embarking on a new project with Rangnick working behind the scenes alongside John Murtough to try and bring the club kicking and screaming into the modern-day, but they can only be successful if the face of the project is correct.
With several high-quality managers coming to the fore, Pochettino can no longer rely on the pre-existing and mutual respect with the club to carry him into the dugout anymore. He may find that when the time comes for the club to choose, they decide to couple up with someone else.
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