Mauricio Pochettino could make two demands to the Manchester United board if the Red Devils make a move to appoint him as their next manager in the event that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is sacked, reckons ESPN FC’s Julien Laurens.
Solskjaer’s Old Trafford future is once again up in the air with United having lost two of their first three Premier League matches of the season, losing 6-1 to Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham before the international break.
The Norwegian has been in charge for 18 months but questions are still asked of his managerial ability despite him guiding the club to a third-placed finish in the Premier League last season to qualify for the Champions League.
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Pochettino has been out of work for almost a year after being sacked by Spurs but remains regarded as one of the best coaches in Europe.
He guided the north London outfit to four straight top-four finishes despite Spurs’ financial constraints and also their first ever Champions League final.
Given his abilities, the 48-year-old has also been linked to Manchester City – with Pep Guardiola out of contract at the end of the season – and is likely to have admirers across the continent.
That could put the ball in Pochettino’s court if Solskjaer is sacked and United make an approach for the Argentine, who has previously hinted he would be keen to return to the Premier League.
And ESPN football expert Laurens believes the ex-Spurs and Southampton manager, who also coached Espanyol in La Liga, could ask for a sporting director and greater power in the transfer market.
United failed to deliver Solskjaer any of his top targets in the recently-closed window, per ESPN, with Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho having been top of his list.
The 13-time Premier League winners did recruit Donny van de Beek, Edinson Cavani, Alex Telles, Amad Diallo and Facundo Pellistri but could not sign Sancho, Jack Grealish, Dayot Upamecano or Nathan Ake.
Asked why Pochettino would want to take over at United given the Red Devils board’s underperformance, Laurens said: “Maybe if they go and get Pochettino, he can have the assurances that a sporting director will be appointed at some point after him.
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“Maybe he can get assurances that he will have more power in the transfer market for United than Solskjaer or previous managers had.
“There’s a lot of ways if they get Pochettino that he can have a lot of leeway in the sense that, ‘Okay you want me? No problem, but you also need to give me this, this and this.’
“It would be a very clever way for Pochettino or someone else to do it that way, coming into the club but with more power than the current manager has, for example.”
Former Rangers and Sunderland striker Ally McCoist reckons Pochettino would prefer the United job to City, if Guardiola and Solskjaer were to leave their posts in Manchester.
He told talkSPORT: “United, I think [Pochettino would favour]. It’s a bit like Spurs where they probably haven’t won anything for a long, long time in terms of the league. I think that would maybe appeal to him a lot more.
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“You look at a club like Manchester United who I don’t think would be too far away to say they’ve lost their way since Sir Alex Ferguson left.
“Clearly they’ve won things, that’s for sure. But a club like Man United, if you speak to boys like Gary Neville and Roy Keane they should be up challenging for the title most years, if not all the time.
“They haven’t been doing that. So I think there’s probably more work to do maybe at Manchester United than perhaps Manchester City.
“I think that would maybe slightly appeal more to a coach like Mauricio Pochettino more.
“If you’re sitting back looking at it then maybe the greater achievement would be winning the title with Manchester United as City have certainly done it recently.”
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