In pictures: Watford v Man Utd
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Manchester United have reportedly pinpointed the Ligue 1 winter break as the ideal time to pinch Mauricio Pochettino from PSG, leaving the French outfit in an uncomfortably familiar position. In the Red Devils’ pursuit of a new manager, early signs suggest that the Argentine would be keen to take charge at Old Trafford, and the feeling is reciprocated by those behind the scenes.
With United in desperate need of a result, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side failed spectacularly at Vicarage Road.
A 4-1 battering by Watford essentially put the Norwegian’s future beyond doubt, and the board delivered the official verdict of his sacking the following morning.
An emotional and heartfelt departure ensured that the relationship ended on good terms, before United set about searching for his replacement.
Michael Carrick has stepped up to a caretaker role until an interim boss is found to see out the season, at which point they will reportedly appoint a long-term solution.
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However, if that solution presents itself sooner rather than later, surely the Red Devils hierarchy would jump at the chance to put their manager hunt to bed.
That could well be the case, with the Evening Standard claiming that the French winter break is being eyed for a sensational Pochettino swoop.
PSG found themselves in an identical situation last year, when Chelsea pounced on Thomas Tuchel to replace Frank Lampard.
The break starts on December 22 and ends on January 7, so Carrick may have over a month in the job if United press ahead with such a plan.
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While United have allegedly been scouting out replacements behind the scenes for some time, the reluctance of managers to leave mid-season has so far proven an obstacle.
That may not be the case with Pochettino though, as the Manchester Evening News claim that he is prepared to quit PSG in order to facilitate a move to Old Trafford as soon as possible.
The 49-year-old is alleged to have plenty of admirers at United, stemming from his domestic achievements and attractive style of play with Tottenham.
While his time in north London did not yield any silverware, he regularly found his side competing with the Premier League’s big boys in the Champions League spots.
United legend Gary Neville also believes that a deal could be orchestrated sooner rather than later, owing to Pochettino’s desire for a Premier League return.
“I think Mauricio Pochettino – although he’d never say it – he’d leave to come to Man United on a five-year deal tomorrow,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“He’d look at that group of players, he’d look at the club and he’d realise he’d probably be able to achieve more than he wants at Man United in terms of a project.
“Manchester United have to make sure they get the next one right. Even if that means being patient for six months to wait for managers to become available at the end of the season.”
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