Mauricio Pochettino discusses Manchester United job
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Mauricio Pochettino has been told he is lucky to be on Manchester United’s radar after failing to settle on a playing style at Paris Saint-Germain. The French giants are top of Ligue 1 but Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are yet to click with Pochettino reportedly willing to depart for Old Trafford.
United are looking for a new manager after sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday. The Norwegian had overseen recent heavy defeats by Liverpool, Manchester City and Watford.
Although only a year into his PSG reign, Pochettino is the heavy favourite to become Solskjaer’s successor.
It is two years since the Argentine was sacked by Tottenham and a return to England in the near future seems likely, particularly with reports claiming that he is yet to settle in Paris.
United are apparently prepared to appoint an interim head coach until the end of the season, with Pochettino and fellow candidates such as Ajax’s Erik ten Hag set to be considered in the summer.
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However, some rumours have suggested that the former Southampton coach could be attainable right now. The Manchester Evening News reported that he is prepared to move mid-season, though it would cost the club a cool £10m to get him out of his PSG contract.
But former Arsenal and Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri has sensationally claimed that Pochettino is fortunate to be linked to the job and accused him of making too many excuses for PSG’s unconvincing form under his reign.
“For the moment, I do not see a Pochettino style in Paris as there could have been in Tottenham or even Southampton, teams that he was able to make play in a beautiful way,” the Frenchman said.
“With PSG, he’s grasping, he still hasn’t found the right formula, he doesn’t know which system to really play in… I don’t understand why he hasn’t started to field a three-way defence, for example.
“There are a lot of things I see that are a little bit inconsistent. And it’s a little too easy to say that it is not his project, to clear oneself in case of failure.
“As luck would have it, Solskjaer was fired and his name was found all over England as a possible future Manchester United manager.”
On Tuesday, Pochettino played down rumours he could be on his way to United.
He said: “I am not a kid, I am not a child. I spend my whole life playing football and now 12 years being a coach.
“We are in a business where the rumours are there, I completely understand, sometimes in a positive or a negative way. I’m not distracted.
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“Rumours are there and we need to live with that. We are so focused, we are giving 100% to try to get our best form from the players to help us in this way, I am so happy with PSG. For tomorrow we are so focused to try and get the best result we can.
“I think we cannot talk about that, my respect to my club, my respect to another man, what that club is doing is not my business. I need to be focused on Paris Saint-Germain.”
Responding to several questions from English and French journalists, he continued: “I think I was clear. I said to you all that my contract is until 2023. It is this season and one season more. I am really happy at Paris Saint-Germain. That is a fact. The fact is I am happy in Paris.”
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