Manchester United chief Ed Woodward factors two people into Mauricio Pochettino decision

Manchester United sack Ole Gunnar after Watford defeat

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Manchester United have factored Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal into their decision to eye Mauricio Pochettino, reports say. The Red Devils sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday. And they’re now on the lookout for a permanent replacement for the 48-year-old.

United had hoped to win trophies under Solskjaer this term, especially after signing the likes of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo back in the summer.

But, after losing seven of their last 13 matches, the Norwegian was axed on Sunday.

The Red Devils decided to pull the trigger on their former striker after a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Watford, with Solskjaer then apologising to supporters in the aftermath.

Now, they’re keen on Pochettino to take over.

The Paris Saint-Germain boss was previously considered to take over in 2016, only for the club to go for Mourinho instead.

United again considered going for the 49-year-old in 2018, after Mourinho’s exit, with Solskjaer then going on to get the role.

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And the Evening Standard say that, with Ed Woodward scarred from dealing with Mourinho and Van Gaal, Pochettino is now their No 1 target.

It’s claimed United want somebody with ‘humility’, a trait Solskjaer possessed.

And they consider Pochettino to be the right candidate, with the Argentine rarely falling out with people within football.

Woodward found dealing with Van Gaal and Mourinho tough.

Van Gaal was angry that he never got the signings of the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels throughout his time at Old Trafford.

And Mourinho frustrated the board by sulking when United didn’t land Toby Alderweireld or Harry Maguire in 2018.

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While United want Pochettino, however, his appointment won’t be straightforward.

PSG don’t want to let the Argentine go just yet, especially given how he only took charge in January.

They may, though, be more inclined to let him go should Zinedine Zidane indicate a willingness to take over at the Parc des Princes.

It would also require United to pay the Ligue 1 giants a fee of £10million in compensation.

And that’s on top of the £7.5m they’ve had to pay Solskjaer following his departure.

Meanwhile, former Tottenham star Jamie O’Hara has had his say on United’s links to Pochettino.

And he’s unconvinced he’d take charge at Old Trafford at the current moment in time.

“It was the worst performance I’ve ever seen from Manchester United,” he said after the defeat to Watford.

“We’re all sitting there saying Ole has to go but when it happens, we’re thinking: ‘Who’s going to come in?’

“Antonio Conte was the perfect manager and they missed a trick with him.

“He was waiting for the Man United job and he’d have taken it if he was asked, but he wasn’t asked, so he took the Spurs job now, now we have him and I think he’s going to be a success.

“But, talking about Pochettino, I think he’s the perfect manager for Manchester United – but why would he leave PSG? He’s got Mbappe and Messi in his team!

“If Manchester United want Pochettino, they can’t wait until the end of the season to see what happens, they need him now!

“You can’t wait until the summer to get a manager. What, are you writing off the 26 games you’ve got left? Come on, you’re Manchester United!

“He’d be perfect to come in now. Get him out of PSG!”

He added: “I look at the board at Manchester United and think, do they have a plan? Do they have a plan on how they want to take this club forward?

“Solskjaer should have been sacked two months ago, that decision came too late, and now they’ve left themselves in a position where everyone’s settled in their clubs now.

“If they tried for Pochettino in the summer they’d get him out, he would have left, but now he wouldn’t swap PSG for Man United.”

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