Mauricio Pochettino in ‘secret’ Man Utd talks as Argentine looks to replace Ralf Rangnick

Manchester United 1-0 Aston Villa: Rangnick reaction

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Mauricio Pochettino remains in ‘secret contact’ with Manchester United over replacing Ralf Rangnick in the summer. Rangnick was appointed as the Red Devils’ interim head coach until the end of the Premier League campaign but it seems unlikely that he will be kept on. 

The German is instead expect to take on an consultancy role within the Old Trafford hierarchy, making way for a different permanent successor to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.  

Rangnick has endured a tough start since replacing Solskjaer at the end of November.  

Performances in victories over Crystal Palace and Norwich were unconvincing despite successive 1-0 scorelines.  

There was then the worrying 1-1 draw with relegation threatened Newcastle before a much more promising display in a 3-1 win against Burnley. 

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Rangnick then suffered the first defeat of his reign when Wolves won 1-0 at Old Trafford. That was then followed by a victory by the same scoreline in the FA Cup against Aston Villa.  

The United hierarchy are still in the processing of deciding the club’s next permanent manager and might not be entirely convinced by Rangnick’s start.  

The German did not rule out taking the job on a permanent basis upon his arrival but that possibility seems unlikely.  

It has now emerged that Paris Saint Germain boss Pochettino remains a target. According to Le Parisien (via Canal Supporters), Pochettino is ‘secretly’ in discussions over a summer move to Old Trafford.

The report reads: “Secretly and discreetly, [Pochettino] maintains contact with Manchester United, in case he manages to free himself from his contract in Paris next summer”. 

In July, Pochettino signed a one-year contract extension with the Ligue 1 club to remain until 2023.  

He has been linked with the job alongside the likes of Erik Ten Hag and Brendan Rodgers. 

The next manager will have a big job improving the atmosphere at the 20-times English champions. Rangnick has faced reports of unrest over his style but has attempted to rubbish those claims. 

“They’re at least trying, I’m sure they are listening, and we showed that in the last games against Palace, Burnley, and parts against Norwich and Newcastle they are trying to follow the advice I give them. 

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“We concede fewer goals than before, an average of 1.7 per game that we have conceded so far – 0.6 in those games. Yes, still, it’s about balance.  

“We need to find the best possible balance between offence and defence, and this is something we have to get better at. 

“All the players were disappointed and frustrated, like myself. In the first-half we didn’t get hold of the build up of Wolves, second-half was better, we didn’t score, we conceded 10 mins from time.  

“It’s a question of balance, offence and defence. Offensively, we have quality, but we have to show the best possible balance.”
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