Manchester United have made former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino their number one target to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ahead of a left-field second choice, and Gary Neville has backed the Argentine to shine at Old Trafford.
Manchester United relieved Solskjaer of his duties on Sunday morning. The news was confirmed by an official statement on the club’s website that insisted the Norwegian will always remain a legend at the club.
Michael Carrick will take charge for the club’s forthcoming fixtures in a caretaker capacity. However, the club announced their intentions to install an interim manager until the end of the season.
That will give United time to conduct their due diligence and do all they can to attract a world class operator in 2022.
And according to Sky Sports, former Tottenham favourite Pochettino is their ‘first choice’ target.
The article states that the Argentine could be more ‘attainable’ next summer given his current employment with PSG. Trying to lure him away from Paris mid-season would likely prove an uphill struggle.
Sky state United’s second choice is Ajax boss, Erik ten Hag.
That may come as a surprise to some given the likes of Brendan Rodgers and Zinedine Zidane have regularly been linked the the post of late.
Furthermore, Ten Hag has never managed a top flight team outside of the Netherlands. He previously managed in Germany between 2013-15, though that was with Bayern Munich’s B team.
Nonetheless, Ten Hag has worked wonders with Ajax and has guided the Amsterdam club to two Eredivisie titles since taking charge in 2017.
While it is still early days, it appears it is Pochettino and Ten Hag who are in United’s crosshairs.
And should Pochettino ultimately get the nod, Gary Neville would be pleased if his latest comments are anything to go by.
Pochettino is a “stand-out” candidate – Neville
Neville did admit a Pochettino approach could have an intriguing wrinkle when speaking on Sky Sports.
The Argentine would likely only be allowed to leave PSG if he were unsuccessful in the current season. That could result in United appointing a manager on the back of a largely underwhelming stint with the French giants.
Nonetheless, Neville described him as a “stand-out candidate” and explained why’d he’d be a perfect fit at Old Trafford.
“They are waiting on Mauricio Pochettino not being successful at another club,” said Neville (via the Guardian).
“If he was to win the Champions League, then PSG wouldn’t let him go.
“He’s always been a stand-out candidate and the only name I’ve mentioned as someone I thought really suited Manchester United in terms of core principles and values and how they play, how he acts and behaves.”