Man United interview PSG’s Mauricio Pochettino over manager’s job as favourite emerges

Mauricio Pochettino has been sounded out about the vacant Manchester United job.

Former Tottenham boss and current Paris Saint-Germain coach Pochettino is understood to have been interviewed by United earlier this week. The approach for Pochettino comes after Ajax boss Erik ten Hag was spoken to by United last week, as part of the ongoing process to appoint a new permanent manager this summer.

Although Ten Hag has emerged as the favourite to land the job, United are adamant they will continue to follow a process of interviewing all candidates before making a final decision.

Ex-Spurs boss Pochettino, 50, has long been linked with the United job and is the preferred choice of legendary former Old Trafford manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who is friends with the Argentine.

Pochettino is set to be sacked by PSG this summer, following their Champions League exit to Real Madrid, which would mean United would not have to pay any compensation for him. That has been a factor with almost all of United’s managerial appointments post-Ferguson, with David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho not requiring compensation to be recruited.

Even when United made Ole Gunnar Solskjaer their permanent boss in March 2019, they paid his club Molde a nominal compensation fee of £500,000 as a gesture of goodwill.

United are stepping up their search for a new permanent manager to take over from interim boss Ralf Rangnick, who will move into a consultancy role at Old Trafford this summer. Also on the short-list of candidates to be interviewed is Spain coach Luis Enrique, although United are understood to be speaking to him next week, following the international break.

Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel and Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers were also seen as potential candidates, but are no longer in the frame and not set to be interviewed by United.

The Red Devils hope to be in a position to make a final decision on the identity of their new permanent manager by the end of April, so the new man can hit the ground running.

Despite Ten Hag having emerged as the bookies’ favourite, United have urged caution over him being the leading candidate, stressing the recruitment process must run its course.

Candidates are being interviewed by United’s football director John Murtough and technical director Darren Fletcher, with the final decision rubber-stamped by chief executive Richard Arnold.

The formal process of seeking a new manager began at the start of this month, with a short-list of candidates, which has now moved on to formal interviews with those concerned.