Manchester United sack Ole Gunnar after Watford defeat
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Manchester United are eyeing Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino to take over at Old Trafford in the wake of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking. The Norwegian lost his job on Sunday following a heavy 4-1 defeat away at Watford. So Express Sport will now take a look at five trump cards the board can play in negotiations when it comes to bringing him in.
Reawaken a sleeping giant
United have never been the same since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Solskjaer have now been and gone without getting close to winning the Premier League title.
But Pochettino could be tempted to prove he’s capable of what the other four managers failed to do.
It’s a big bait. United are a sleeping giant and they need somebody to shake them awake again.
Pochettino believes in himself and, if he’s to show he’s the elite manager many think he is, Old Trafford is the perfect place for him to do that.
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More control than at PSG
Pochettino only moved to PSG back in January, taking charge following their harsh decision to sack Thomas Tuchel.
But he’s not entirely happy in France.
Part of the reason for that is Pochettino feels limited at the Parc des Princes. Whereas he had a big say at Southampton and Tottenham, it’s different in the French capital.
United’s board have been accused of being too controlling in the past but, under Solskjaer, things changed. The Norwegian was heavily involved in planning for the future and every decision was run by him.
Pochettino could benefit from that, allowing him to build a dynasty at the Theatre of Dreams with the board on side.
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A return home
Another detail to have emerged over the past couple of days relates to Pochettino’s family life.
At present, his family are living in England still. The Argentine, meanwhile, is staying at a hotel in France.
It’s obviously not a Travelodge but that doesn’t matter. Pochettino still sees England as his true home and the Red Devils could exploit that to their advantage.
Whether he’d suddenly leave PSG right now, where his side are ticking along nicely on all fronts, remains to be seen.
Yet Pochettino would surely jump at the chance to be closer to those he loves and cherishes the most.
At United, Pochettino knows he’d be loved.
After all, the club have courted him for a number of years – with interest dating back to the 49-year-old’s time at Southampton.
United seriously considered Pochettino to replace Van Gaal in 2016, only to opt for Mourinho instead due to his availability.
And he was being lined up to take over from Mourinho prior to Solskjaer bursting onto the scene and landing the job instead.
Pochettino has long been flattered by United’s interest and feeling loved is a powerful thing in life. Football is certainly no different.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s endorsement
Perhaps the biggest trump card of all could be United legend Ferguson.
The Scot wanted Pochettino to get the job at Old Trafford before Solskjaer, especially after being impressed over dinner.
The duo met when in charge of United and Southampton respectively and Ferguson was left with the impression Pochettino would be the right fit for the club in the future.
If Ferguson rates you, you must be doing something right.
And the Scot’s influence remains massive in football, despite him retiring nearly nine years ago.
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