Mauricio Pochettino cut a frustrated figure as Paris Saint-Germain were beaten by Manchester City
Pochettino may be unsettled in Paris and keen to get away, but PSG's reluctance to let him go until at least next summer will at least afford him the chance to enhance his managerial CV.
The French Cup and Trophee des Champions – France's Community Shield – are the only honours to Pochettino's name, although the French league is a formality this season, with PSG 11 points clear at the top.
Given the league is all but won, the Champions League remains the challenge for Pochettino, with PSG's owners desperate to rule Europe having reached the semi-finals last season and the final the year before.
If this game amounted to something of an audition for the United job for Pochettino, in the city where he is expected to be managing next season, it proved a testing one for him.
Pochettino is said to be struggling to manage the fragile egos within his elite squad, in particular Neymar, whose meagre work ethic spoke volumes of his difficult relationship with his boss.
With the front three of Neymar, Messi and Mbappe unwilling to track back and help out the rest of the team, City were able to put Pochettino's side under relentless pressure.
Raheem Sterling bagged Manchester City's equaliser against Pochettino's Paris Saint-Germain
Although the visitors took the lead through Mbappe, City deservedly got back on level terms through Raheem Sterling, having dominated their opponents, winning courtesy of a calm Gabriel Jesus finish.
Pochettino's Spurs side, which broke into the top-four and reached a Champions League final, worked tirelessly for him, yet PSG – on his evidence – are unwilling to go to the same lengths.
Failure to conquer Europe this season could see Pochettino jettisoned by PSG next summer, leaving him free to join United.
Given the clear disconnect between him and his star-studded squad, one heavy on individual brilliance but lacking a collective ethos, that scenario could yet happen.