REVEALED: Mauricio Pochettino is ‘secretly and discreetly maintaining contact’ with Manchester United as their search for a permanent manager ‘comes down to two’… but interim boss Ralf Rangnick ‘prefers Erik ten Hag’
- Manchester United are stepping up their search for a permanent manager
- Ralf Rangnick is in interim charge and will go behind the scenes in the summer
- Reports in France say PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino is in contact with United
- Pochettino is believed to be one of two candidates, with Ajax’s Erik ten Hag
- Rangnick, who will take up a consultancy role, reportedly prefers the Ajax boss
Manchester United and Mauricio Pochettino have been ‘secretly and discreetly’ maintaining contact, according to a report in France.
Pochettino is working to guide Paris Saint-Germain to the Ligue 1 title as well as Champions League glory before Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe look set to be broken up in the summer.
He is a frontrunner to become Manchester United’s next permanent manager with interim boss Ralf Rangnick not staying in the dugout beyond the end of the 2021-22 season.
A report in France has claimed PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino is in contact with Man United
Interim boss Ralf Rangnick (left) reportedly prefers a move for Ajax boss Erik ten Hag (right)
French outlet Le Parisien has reported that since expressing interest in Pochettino back in November, when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was axed, United have ‘maintained contact’ and the Argentine coach ‘has a lot of supporters’ behind the scenes at Old Trafford.
Sportsmail reported recently that the view from inside United is that it has come down to three targets: Pochettino, Ajax boss Erik ten Hag and Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers.
Le Parisien claim it is a straight fight between Pochettino and Ten Hag to get the job and both ‘has his supporters’ in the boardroom.
Pochettino (right) is under contract at PSG until 2023 but United’s hierarchy are fans of his
Rangnick (middle) is in interim charge but United are searching for their next permanent boss
It is claimed that United’s hierarchy ‘leans’ to appointing Pochettino whereas Rangnick, who will take up a two-year consultancy role following the conclusion of this interim manager spell, prefers Ten Hag.
Pochettino already has a successful track record in the Premier League to his name having impressed at both Southampton and Tottenham.
Sportsmail has previously reported that Pochettino is keen on the United job, with the PSG boss yet to fully settle into life in Paris.
Pochettino’s family remain in London and he has spent recent months living in a hotel in Paris.
Much will hinge on the level of success PSG enjoy under Pochettino, who is under contract until 2023, this season.
Pochettino is living in a Paris hotel while his family, including wife Karina (left) are in London
Zinedine Zidane is the ‘priority’ for PSG if Pochettino departs for United, the new report claims
PSG are currently 11 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 and are in the last-16 of the Champions League, where they will take on Real Madrid.
The latest report details how PSG’s ‘priority’, in the event that Pochettino does pack up and head for Manchester, is to call upon former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.
United have had a mixed first seven games under Rangnick, squeezing into the fourth round of the FA Cup on Monday night with a 1-0 win over Aston Villa.
Morale is low in United’s dressing room and senior players are having their effort levels questioned as their bid for the top four – and the Champions League next season – hangs in the balance.
United come up against Villa again this weekend, heading to take on Steven Gerrard’s side at Villa Park sat seventh, four points off Arsenal, who are fourth.
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