Man Utd interview PSG’s Mauricio Pochettino over manager’s job as favorite emerges

Manchester United have continued their process for appointing a new manager by interviewing Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino about taking on the role in the summer

MADRID, SPAIN – MARCH 09: Mauricio Pochettino, Manager of Paris Saint-Germain reacts during the UEFA Champions League Round Of Sixteen Leg Two match between Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on March 09, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Silvestre Szpylma / Quality Sport Images / Getty Images)

Mauricio Pochettino has been sounded out about the vacant Manchester United job.

Former Tottenham boss and current Paris Saint-Germain coach Pochettino is understood to have been interviewed by United earlier this week. The approach for Pochettino comes after Ajax boss Erik ten Hag was spoken to by United last week, as part of the ongoing process to appoint a new permanent manager this summer.

Although Ten Hag has emerged as the favorite to land the job, United are adamant they will continue to follow a process of interviewing all candidates before making a final decision.

Ex-Spurs boss Pochettino, 50, has long been linked with the United job and is the preferred choice of legendary former Old Trafford manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who is friends with the Argentine. Pochettino is set to be sacked by PSG this summer, following their Champions League exit to Real Madrid, which would mean United would not have to pay any compensation for him. That has been a factor with almost all of United’s managerial appointments post-Ferguson, with David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho not requiring compensation to be recruited.

Even when United made Ole Gunnar Solskjaer their permanent boss in March 2019, they paid his club Molde a nominal compensation fee of £ 500,000 as a gesture of goodwill. United are stepping up their search for a new permanent manager to take over from interim boss Ralf Rangnick, who will move into a consultancy role at Old Trafford this summer. Also on the short-list of candidates to be interviewed is Spain coach Luis Enrique, although United are understood to be speaking to him next week, following the international break.

Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel and Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers were also seen as potential candidates, but are no longer in the frame and not set to be interviewed by United. The Red Devils hope to be in a position to make a final decision on the identity of their new permanent manager by the end of April, so the new man can hit the ground running. Despite Ten Hag having emerged as the bookies’ favorite, United have urged caution over him being the leading candidate, stressing the recruitment process must run its course.

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Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag are at the top of Manchester United’s managerial wish-list

Candidates are being interviewed by United’s football director John Murtough and technical director Darren Fletcher, with the final decision rubber-stamped by chief executive Richard Arnold. The formal process of seeking a new manager began at the start of this month, with a short-list of candidates, which has now moved on to formal interviews with those concerned.

The new United manager’s first game in charge will be a showdown with their fiercest rivals, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, in Bangkok on July 12. United announced the game as part of their pre-season tour this summer, their first since 2019 because of Covid restrictions .

After playing Liverpool, United will fly to Australia, where they will play Melbourne Victory on July 15 and Crystal Palace on July 19, both at Melbourne Cricket Ground. United are set to add another two games to their tour itinerary, to give the new manager as much game-time as possible to get to know his squad ahead of the start of the new campaign.

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