Manchester United’s players want Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino as the Premier League club’s new manager ahead of Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag.
Manchester United’s players want Mauricio Pochettino to be their next permanent manager.
The majority of United’s squad are understood to want former Tottenham boss Pochettino to take over from interim coach Ralf Rangnick this summer.
Pochettino is likely to leave Ligue 1 side Paris St Germain this summer and has made no secret of his desire to return to the Premier League, with the United job his target.
Although Ajax boss Erik ten Hag is also on United’s managerial short-list and could also be available for free this summer, Pochettino is the favoured choice of the players.
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Against that backdrop, Pochettino remains the favourite for the United job, as revealed last week by Mirror Sport, with the Old Trafford hierarchy confident they can land him.
Pochettino has the edge for his Premier League experience, adherence to an attacking style of play and a proven ability at developing younger players.
Newly-appointed United chief executive Richard Arnold, who succeeded Ed Woodward on February 1, knows he cannot afford to mess up the next permanent managerial appointment.
Rangnick is United’s fifth manager since Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down in 2013 and there is an acceptance at board level that a period of stability is now required in the Old Trafford dug-out.
Although PSG are 13 points clear at the top of the French league and cruising to the title, Pochettino could be sacked if his side do not get past Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League.
In a further twist, Real are also interested in Pochettino, 49, which has increased the pressure on United and Arnold to move swiftly to secure their next permanent manager.
Ten Hag is the other name on United’s shortlist, with Rangnick a confirmed fan of the 52-year-old, who is considering his future at Ajax after the loss of director of football Marc Overmars.
Overmars, who resigned earlier this week after it emerged he sent inappropriate messages to female colleagues, worked closely with ten Hag, who was stunned by his exit and is considering his future.
Ten Hag, who took Ajax to the semi-finals of Champions League in 2019, is on course to land a third Dutch title in four years, with his side five points clear at the top of the Eredivisie.
Rangnick was appointed as the club’s interim boss until the end of the season last November after the Red Devils sacked club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The former RB Leipzig boss will is set to take on a two-year consultancy role with United after that spell comes to an end.
Rangnick hit out at his players for “tiki-taka football” and trying to walk the ball into the back of the net in their 1-1 draw with Burnley ealier this week, rather than being more direct.
He said: “We knew they would come out in the second half in a more aggressive way and the only thing I can complain the team about was we were not aggressive enough in the first 20 minutes of the second half.
“We were playing tiki-taka football in our own half and not direct enough. We had the counter-attack but gave the ball away too easily in their box.”