Mauricio Pochettino is regarded as the main favorite to take over the Manchester United hot seat next summer, when Ralf Rangnick’s interim manager contract at Old Trafford will end and the German will switch into a club consultant for the next two years.
PSG aren’t letting their man go through the exit door that easily though, despite recent rumors suggesting the French giants are already talking to Zinedine Zidane for the after Pochettino era.
Paris Saint-Germain’s sporting director, Leonardo, firmly denies any negotiation with Zidane and insists PSG are planning their future with Pochettino in charge.
“We don’t want Pochettino to leave,” Leonardo told AFP on Friday. “He never asked to leave and no club contacted us in relation to him,” the PSG official added.
“We have lots of respect for Zinedine Zidane, for what he did as a player and coach, but I can affirm very clearly that there was no contact or meeting with him,” Leonardo added.
Poch, tempted by Man. United
Asked to comment on the news linking him to the Manchester United managerial role, Pochettino said he was happy at PSG, but didn’t rule out a future move to Old Trafford.
“Rumors are there and we need to live with that. That is what we are living. We need to be focused. I am happy at PSG, I was a player here and I love the club and its fans,” Pochettino said. The Argentine manager is under contract at PSG until 2023, so United would need to pay PSG his release clause to have him earlier.
In Paris, Pochettino still lives in a hotel, which PSG’s hierarchy find a bit strange. The manager’s family is still based in London, where Pochettino had his previous job with Tottenham Hotspur. The South-American has been criticized for PSG’s lack of playing identity since a stellar summer transfer campaign saw Leo Messi, Sergio Ramos, Achraf Hakimi, Gigi Donnarumma and Gini Wijnaldum move to Parc des Princes. Pochettino is also said to be unhappy with his lack of involvement in the club’s transfer activity.
Pochettino is at +150 to become Manchester United’s permanent manager in the summer, with Brendan Rodgers at +600, Zinedine Zidane at +800 and Erik Ten Hag at +1,000.