Manchester United should go “all out” to sign Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino at the end of the season, according to Wayne Rooney.
Pochettino has been touted as a potential United manager ever since Jose Mourinho was sacked in December, but the success of caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has cast the Argentine’s appointment into doubt.
Could Mauricio Pochettino be the next Man Utd boss? Five things to know…
- Mauricio Pochettino led Tottenham to their highest Premier League points total in the 2016/17 season (86).
- He was linked with the Manchester United job in 2016 after dining with legendary former boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
- The Argentine signed a new deal with Tottenham in May 2018, tying him to the club until 2023.
- It is reported Pochettino would like to manage United but would cost the 20-time English champions £34m to release him from his Spurs contract.
- Nonetheless, Rooney believes his former side should go all to replace to replace caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with Pochettino.
Rooney, 33, acknowledged the Norwegian coach should be given an opportunity, but if the chance to land Pochettino arises his former club should do what they can to bring him to Old Trafford.
“First of all you have to give Ole an opportunity and that’s a discussion that has to take place with the Glazers,” Rooney told ESPN.
“But if I had the opportunity to appoint someone, I’d go all out for Pochettino.
“I think Manchester United — certainly over the last 20, 30 years, since Alex Ferguson — have based themselves on youth players, young players, bringing players through. I think [Pochettino] gets the best out of his players whether they are younger or older.
“You see some of the young players he has brought through at Tottenham, at Southampton that have gone on to play for the national team, so I think he ticks every box in terms of his quality as a coach, but also his willingness to give youth a chance.”
United’s hierarchy got to see the merits of both managers as they faced each other at Wembley last Sunday. Solskjaer got one foot in front of Pochettino with a victory, albeit a less-than-comprehensive one, over his Spurs side.
What must Solskjaer do to become more than Man Utd caretaker?
According to some reports Solskjaer has already won over United’s fans, backroom staff and star players after the sterling start he’s made to his temporary role at Old Trafford.
French winger Anthony Martial backed the Norwegian to take over the reins on a more permanent basis at the end of the current campaign.
“At the moment everything goes very well, all the players are happy. So if it goes on like that, why not?” he told TV2.
But if the Norwegian wants to convince the board he will probably have to secure, at the very least, a top-four finish and the FA Cup wouldn’t hurt his chances either.
One person who is less convinced about Solskjaer’s suitability for the job is former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordon who says he’s no genius.
“I think Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is no tactical genius, he isn’t doing anything that anybody with half a brain who understands football couldn’t do, which is deliver good news,” Jordan told talkSport.
“These kids in this dressing room only want good news, they don’t want reality or want their noses put out of joint.
“The worst thing that could happen to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United is if he gets the job long-term.
“Like what happened to Roberto Di Matteo at Chelsea, if he wins anything of significance and has to be kept there against the real wishes of the club and then gets taken out later, that would be the worst thing for both him and the club.”