Mauricio Pochettino ‘discreetly contacting’ Man Utd despite Ralf Rangnick preference

Manchester United remain keen on former Spurs manager Pochettino, but Rangnick has other things in mind for when his contract as interim manager comes to an end

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  • 08:58, 12 Jan 2022
  • Updated11:12, 12 Jan 2022
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Mauricio Pochettino remains under consideration as Manchester United make plans for their next permanent manager, according to reports from France.

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However, the pursuit of the Paris Saint-Germain boss appears to be at odds with the preference of interim manager Ralf Rangnick, who is due to remain at the club in a two-year consultancy role when his time in the dugout comes to an end.

Recent reports suggested former Tottenham Hotspur boss Pochettino was no longer United's first choice, having been strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford before Rangnick was confirmed as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's interim successor.

While he is certainly not the only contender for the post, with Ajax manager Erik ten Hag also in the frame, the eventual decision may come down to whether United's higher-ups rely on Rangnick's preference or go their own way.

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Pochettino has reportedly maintained contact with United
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Image:
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According to Le Parisien (via Canal Supporters ), Rangnick will not be extending his managerial stint once his interim tenure comes to an end.

The German had hinted at a longer stay after arriving at United in December, but the original plan of a consultancy role appears to still be the most likely scenario.

This leaves the club with two leading contenders, Pochettino and Ten Hag, and the French publication reports that "Secretly and discreetly, [Pochettino] maintains contact with Manchester United, in case he manages to free himself from his contract in Paris next summer".

PSG, the paper notes, would likely move for Zinedine Zidane if they end up parting ways with their current head coach.

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Le Parisien suggests that, while United's leadership would still prefer Pochettino to take over, Rangnick favours Ten Hag for the role.

The Dutch manager has no Premier League experience, but has won multiple Eredivisie titles and led Ajax to the verge of the Champions League final.

It was Pochettino's Tottenham who denied the Amsterdam club on that occasion, and the Argentine remains very much on United's radar.

Ten Hag is believed to be Rangnick's favoured candidate
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Image:
REUTERS)

The latest developments come as Ed Woodward, United's executive vice chairman, prepares to leave the club.

The 50-year-old has been in his role since 2013, but will leave on February 1 with Richard Arnold – the club's current managing director – taking his place.

The successful identification of a new manager will be among the first tasks facing Arnold, who will take over from Woodward after the conclusion of the January transfer window.

United are continuing to look at transfer targets as Rangnick aims to refresh the squad and kick-start a top-four push after early-season struggles under Solskjaer.

Whether the next manager is Pochettino, Ten Hag or another candidate, the new boss is likely to need to see eye-to-eye with the higher-ups as they embark on their own maiden transfer window over the summer.

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