Mauricio Pochettino’s strong demand to Man Utd hierarchy emerges as Erik ten Hag wins race

Man Utd 'close in' on deal for ten Hag as new manager

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Mauricio Pochettino wanted big transfer backing from Manchester United during his job interview, according to reports. The Paris Saint-Germain boss had, initially, been the frontrunner to be named as Ralf Rangnick’s permanent replacement. However, it’s Ajax boss Erik ten Hag who is poised to take over at Old Trafford this summer instead.

Manchester United had been expected to pursue Pochettino when they sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November, less than 24 hours after a chastening 4-1 defeat to Watford.

But it’s Ten Hag who will now be taking over at Old Trafford, with The Sun explaining how that decision has come about.

While Ten Hag blew United away in his interview, leaving them with the impression he can turn the squad around without money being an issue, Pochettino supposedly made it clear he wanted big transfer backing.

It’s stated he spoke about ‘how much’ cash he’d need to overhaul the squad, with the new boss more than happy to let go of most of the current side.

And PSG, for their part, made it clear they wanted a ‘more substantial release clause’ for a manager whose future at the Parc des Princes is up in the air anyway.

United talked with Ten Hag in person.

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But their interviews with Pochettino were conducted on Zoom and things ‘did not go as well’ as they did with the Ajax manager.

While PSG wanted a big fee to let their Argentine boss go, Ajax will be happy to negotiate on Ten Hag’s £2million release clause.

And, for Pochettino, is seems the United ship is set to sail once again.

He was first eyed to take charge of the club as far back as 2013, when Sir Alex Ferguson retired shortly after masterminding another Premier League triumph.

But with Pochettino’s spell at Southampton still in it’s infancy, United decided to give the keys to Old Trafford to David Moyes instead.

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In 2014, the Red Devils again contemplated his hiring.

Yet the Red Devils went for Louis van Gaal instead, with the Dutchman winning the FA Cup during his two-year stint with the club.

Former United chief Ed Woodward was attracted by the idea of bringing Pochettino in when Van Gaal’s reign turned sour.

But with Jose Mourinho available at the time, it was the current Roma boss who was appointed instead.

When United axed Mourinho and hired Solskjaer on an interim basis in December 2018, Pochettino was the frontrunner to take over.

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Yet Solskjaer’s impressive run as interim boss triggered United into sticking with the Norwegian instead.

Meanwhile, former United coach Kieran McKenna has hailed Ten Hag as he prepares to move to the Premier League.

“Erik ten Hag’s a fantastic coach,” he told Sky Sports.

“I’ve enjoyed watching his Ajax team over the last few years, they are a team I’ve watched quite a lot of and really enjoyed the style of play he’s managed to impart there.

“I think as a Manchester United fan, all Manchester United fans want to see is a successful team on the pitch and I’m sure they will be working hard to make steps in the right direction during the course of the off-season.”

McKenna left United to take up a job at Ipswich Town in December.

He’d previously moved to the Red Devils from Tottenham during the days where Mourinho ruled the roost.

Ipswich are currently ninth in the League One table.

And McKenna has been visited by former colleagues Solskjaer and Michael Carrick throughout his short spell with the club. 

United, meanwhile, are next in action against Norwich City on Saturday afternoon as they look to get their season back on track (3pm). 

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