Mauricio Pochettino is one of the leading candidates to become the next Manchester United manager but Real Madrid president Florentina Perez could end the Red Devils’ hopes
Manchester United ‘s plan to hire Mauricio Pochettino as their next manager could be scuppered thanks to Florentino Perez.
The Real Madrid president is reportedly furious with his side’s display against Pochettino’s Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday, and is considering a swoop for the United target.
Current Real boss Carlo Ancelotti employed a defensive setup in the round-of-16 first leg, with PSG’s dominance eventually paying dividends in the 94th minute thanks to a sensation goal from Kylian Mbappe.
It left Perez dismayed at Ancelotti’s conservative tactics, with the Italian set to play for his job in the second leg.
And should he sacked, Pochettino is the man tipped to take over the reins at the Santiago Bernabeu by the Independent, having previously been linked to the job while in charge of Tottenham Hotspur.
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United have also been keen on Pochettino for the past few years and Mirror Football understands that the Old Trafford hierarchy are confident that they could prise him away from Paris this summer.
But the same feeling is felt in Madrid, despite Ancelotti’s team – who failed to have a single shot on target in Tuesday’s last-16 clash – being on course to win the La Liga title in his first season back at the helm.
The ex-Chelsea and Everton manager was brought back to Los Blancos after Zinedine Zidane quit last summer – coincidentally the man PSG are said to want to succeed Pochettino.
Real’s interest in the Argentine could force United to accelerate their efforts to sign him up or turn to other candidates such as Erik ten Hag and Luis Enrique, with interim boss Ralf Rangnick keeping the hot seat warm until the end of the current campaign.
Pochettino is also favoured by the Red Devils’ players and reports have suggested that Tottenham star Harry Kane would be his first transfer target, should he be appointed.
However, club legend Gary Neville reckons the squad should stay out of the selection dilemma, declaring on his Sky Sports podcast : “They’re obviously going to appoint a new manager in the summer.
“I don’t like reports of players wanting this manager or that manager, stay out of that.
“You’re not in a position to be able to choose who the next manager is. Just get your own jobs right and make sure you’re together and doing your bit right.
“If Mauricio Pochettino is the choice of the board they should appoint him, but they shouldn’t appoint him just because the players think [they should].
“I’d hate to think, for one second, they’re listening to the players in the dressing room.
“They’ve [the players] got big PR machines, they’ve got big social media teams… they’re active and they have been for a good few months – and I’ve not liked it for a few months.
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“At this moment in time, they’re all looking after one another. ‘Who do I want in next? I know him’… all that nonsense is happening behind the scenes at Manchester United.
“I don’t know that from a point a view of intelligence – I don’t speak to anyone in the club, I genuinely don’t – but I can see it because I read the newspapers and I’m on social media.
“I see the stories coming out – so and so wants to leave, they want him as the manager of they want him as the manager – and I’m thinking, ‘Oh my gosh.'”