Liverpool's record 5-0 win at Man Utd: Solskjaer at 'rock bottom'
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Manchester United might struggle to prise Mauricio Pochettino away from Paris Saint-Germain if they choose to sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to reports. Pochettino has long been a target for the Red Devils and could be considered to replace Solskjaer if the Norwegian’s job becomes untenable.
United have already lost three Premier League games this season, leaving Solskjaer’s position hanging by a thread.
A 5-0 thrashing by Liverpool on Sunday evidenced the large gap between the Old Trafford outfit and the division’s elite.
There have been reports that Solskjaer could be dismissed as early as the coming days, with more tough fixtures coming up. United face Tottenham and rivals Manchester City in their next two league games, with a crunch Champions League clash with Atalanta thrown in for good measure.
Several potential successors have already been suggested. Out-of-work Zinedine Zidane and Antonio Conte appear to be the early favourites.
However, United have long held an interest in appointing PSG boss Pochettino. The Argentine was unavailable when Jose Mourinho was sacked in December 2018 as he was busy guiding Tottenham to the Champions League final.
He was then sacked by Spurs a year later but by then Solskjaer had been appointed and was enjoying some success.
United could revisit their liking for Pochettino but have apparently learned that he might be difficult to acquire. According to ESPN, the 49-year-old is not expected to be available any time soon.
The report continues that United are ‘reluctant’ to appoint Conte over concerns that the Italian might not be quite the right fit.
Pochettino’s PSG side top Ligue 1 by seven points after 10 matches. It is a vast improvement on his first half-season in charge, in which he failed to win the French top tier.
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That was just the second time in seven years that the Parisians had not won the division.
United legend Gary Neville has reservations about Pochettino taking the job, suggesting that the profile of the squad might be too much for the ex-Southampton to handle. Pochettino has at times been criticised for the inconsistent form of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
Neville told Sky Sports: “I thought that last season there was something building. I think if you asked him (Solskjaer) privately ‘would you like last season’s squad back?’ I think he probably would go back.
“They have got six grenades where the pins have been pulled out in the dressing room. It can work, I’ve seen [Vicente] Del Bosque manage a Real Madrid team to the Champions League.
“Zidane has done it with great players. I think PSG are like that at the moment. You see Pochettino there and you think it’s not really a Pochettino team.
“Ole’s got a bit of that now. He has Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba and Harry Maguire.”
Neville added: “Massive characters in the dressing room. Maguire will look at Varane in the dressing room and think am I the top dog anymore?
“You have the dynamic of Cavani sat on the bench who was begged to stay but now has Ronaldo, [Marcus] Rashford and [Mason] Greenwood in front of him.
“[Jadon] Sancho has come in for £75m and now he is looking like he is in and out. All these issues are developing, Solskjaer has to somehow bring that group together.
“He’s got to find a basic defensive shape that the players buy into and allow the others to go win the games for him. It’s the only way for him to get the season back on track.”
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