Gary Neville believes Manchester United should only appoint Mauricio Pochettino as their next permanent manager if the board want it and not because of the players. The Paris Saint-Germain boss is expected to leave the Parc des Princes at the end of the campaign. And Old Trafford could be his next destination.
Manchester United have admired Pochettino for a number of years.
They seriously considered hiring him as Sir Alex Ferguson’s replacement in 2013, only to believe he was too young at the time and went for David Moyes instead.
United also thought about giving him the job when they axed Louis van Gaal in 2016 yet Ed Woodward, a big admirer of Jose Mourinho, denied to give him the keys to Old Trafford instead.
And when the Red Devils relieved Mourinho of his duties in December 2018, Pochettino was their No 1 target to take over.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, however, secured the post having impressed during a spell as interim boss.
Now, United are again being linked with Pochettino as they plan for a brighter future.
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“They’ve got big PR machines and big social media machines and their agents are active.
“They have been for a good few months and I’ve not liked it for a few months. At the moment, they’re all looking after one another, thinking who they want in next.
“All that nonsense is happening behind the scenes at Manchester United.”
Neville’s comments come just over a month after he’d expressed a belief Pochettino was the ‘right fit’ for his old side.
“I don’t think [Antonio] Conte was a fit for United,” he said.
“I think United will get the right manager at the end of the season for the longer term.
“I’d like Pochettino to be the next manager because he’s got experience of the league, I think he would play the right type of football.
“It feels like the moment for him to step up. He’s managing big stars, characters and personalities.
“I’ve always liked him and the way in which he has operated. I think he fits the club, he works with young players as well.
“He gets the best out of players. He’s a good coach. But also I think he works people the right way.
“But he’s got a job at Paris Saint-Germain, and if he does well there, they obviously won’t let him go.”
United’s current interim boss Ralf Rangnick, meanwhile, recently played down talk of Pochettino taking over when quizzed on the matter.
“I have no idea,” he said.
“My full focus is on developing and training the group right now.
“We have important games coming up in three different competitions so I cannot give any reasonable answer to that question.
“As I said, my focus is on the next couple of games, and the next couple of weeks and months, and be as successful as we can be.”
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