Published On: Fri, Oct 16th, 2020

Man Utd have Mauricio Pochettino alternative if Ed Woodward sacks Ole Gunnar Solskjaer | Football | Sport


After losing their opening game 3-1 at home to Crystal Palace, United crashed to a catastrophic 6-1 Old Trafford loss to Tottenham before the international break.

They won their sole top-flight match sandwiched between those defeats but only narrowly with an extremely late penalty giving them a 3-2 win over Brighton, who hit the woodwork five times.

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Solskjaer’s managerial ability has been questioned as a result, with the United boss now working with a stronger squad than in previous years.

The Red Devils’ defence has been particularly suspect despite Solskjaer spending £80million on Harry Maguire and £50m on Aaron Wan-Bissaka a year ago.

And it is the world’s worst-kept secret that former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is admired by the United hierarchy.

The Argentine, who also worked in the Premier League at Southampton, has been out of a job for nearly 12 months after being surprisingly sacked by Spurs.

Yet his achievements with the north London club included four straight top-four finishes – with their second place in 2016-17 their best campaign since 1962-63 – and taking them to the Champions League final for the first time in their history.

However, despite the long-standing interest in Pochettino’s services, Duncan Castles of the Transfer Window Podcast says he is not the only coach who would be in the frame to replace Solskjaer.

Pochettino is also liked by Manchester City, it has been claimed, with Pep Guardiola’s current Etihad contract expiring at the end of this season.

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And if results do not improve and legendary former Red Devils striker Solskjaer is axed this term, Castles claims former Juventus boss Allegri would also be considered by United.

“There is a discontent with the club and a discontent with the manager,” Castles declared, discussing Bruno Fernandes’ alleged upset with the club.

“It’s not entirely surprising to me that this has happened, it’s a common pattern in the dressing room – this opinion of Solskjaer.

“Fernandes is notorious for being highly competitive as an individual, he comes across as a very nice and unassuming individual, but talking to those who know him it’s a different story.

“I think this adds significantly to the pressure on Solskjaer. United have this long-standing interest in Mauricio Pochettino.

But there are other options on the market including Max Allegri, who isn’t in contact with United but would be a candidate.”

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Allegri has been a free agent since leaving his post as Juventus manager in the summer of 2019.

Also a former AC Milan head coach, the Italian is a six-time Serie A winner and has also won the Coppa Italia four times and the Supercoppa Italian three times.

Allegri was a two-time Champions League runner-up, losing to Barcelona and Real Madrid in 2015 and 2017.

He is highly regarded after five straight titles with Juve, which included four league and cup doubles between 2015 and 2018.

Allegri has been linked with the Roma job with Paulo Fonseca’s future uncertain and he said on Italian TV recently: “We’ll see, who knows…who knows. We’ll see. I’m just tired of not doing anything.”

The experienced 53-year-old coach has previously indicated his desire to work outside of Italy for the first time in his coaching career.

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