Mauricio Pochettino discusses Manchester United job
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Paris Saint Germain have reportedly softened their stance on Mauricio Pochettino’s exit with the Manchester United-linked head coach supposedly wanting a return to the Premier League. Pochettino has been strongly tipped to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford and hardly ruled out a switch when quizzed on his future on Wednesday.
United are searching for a new manager after sacking Solskjaer on Sunday. The Norwegian oversaw a terrible period of form and lost the confidence of the club’s hierarchy.
Directors had initially thrown their backing behind the 48-year-old despite heavy defeats inflicted by Leicester City, Liverpool and Manchester City.
Last weekend’s 4-1 hammering by lowly Watford saw United change their position, though, with the legendary former striker dismissed fewer than 48 hours after he was booed by away fans at Vicarage Road.
Former Tottenham boss Pochettino is the favourite to replace Solskjaer. The Argentine was linked with a return to Spurs before they appointed Nuno Espirito Santo in the summer.
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The North Londoners are widely believed to have approached PSG about re-hiring Pochettino but were told a firm ‘no’, with the French giants extending the coach’s contract until 2023.
However, PSG have reportedly softened their stance on allowing the 49-year-old to leave.
According to The Athletic, the club are not quite as firm anymore in their desperation for Pochettino to stay.
They acknowledge that the former midfielder enjoys the headlines that are created by managing in England.
Pochettino, meanwhile, is keen to return to the Premier League but has publicly kept his cards close to his chest over his future.
PSG let a 1-0 lead slip in a disappointing 2-1 defeat by Man City on Wednesday evening.
Afterwards, Pochettino refused to rule out a move. He insisted that his players are understanding of his situation but did not elaborate on what that situation is.
“The players know very well our situation,” he told journalists.
“We know their situation. We are living in a business that rumours are there, sometimes negative, sometimes positive. That is not a thing to talk about – the rumours.”
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Pochettino remains the favourite for the job, with France icon Zinedine Zidane also linked.
However, United could be tempted into appointing an interim coach until the end of the season if either are too difficult to hire mid-season.
Michael Carrick was placed in caretaker charge following Solskjaer’s departure and oversaw a win in his first match.
United defeat Villarreal in the Champions League on Tuesday evening. Cristiano Ronaldo and a first goal for Jadon Sancho since his £73million summer move sealed the club’s passage to the knockout rounds.
Carrick, who was an assistant under Solskjaer, faces league leaders Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday.
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