Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino remains Manchester United’s first choice this summer, but the club are not ruling out the possibility of making an earlier move for the Argentinian; United aware Pochettino has major issues with PSG sporting director Leonardo
Mauricio Pochettino has said he is “so happy” at Paris Saint-Germain and will not allow Manchester United’s interest to distract him from his current role.
Pochettino remains United’s first choice this summer, but the club are not ruling out the possibility of making an earlier move for the Argentinian.
United are aware Pochettino has major issues with PSG sporting director Leonardo, but are also wary the former Tottenham boss has flirted with the idea of moving to Old Trafford before.
Speaking in Manchester ahead of PSG’s Champions League match at Manchester City, Pochettino said: “I am focused. I am very focused on football. I am not a child, I spend my whole life playing football, and now my 12th year being coach, we’re in a business that the rumours are there. I understand what is going on.
“This kind of thing cannot distract. Rumours are there, we need to live with that. We are so focused, giving 100 per cent to get our best from the club and the players. I am so happy at Paris Saint-Germain, for tomorrow we are so focused to get the best results we can.”
Pochettino took charge at PSG in January and pointed out his current contract runs out at the end of the 2022-23 season.
He added: “What another club are doing is not my business, I need to be focused on PSG. I’m not going to make the mistake of talking. You know everything we’ll say, it was in the past when at Espanyol when I said my dream was to meet Sir Alex (Ferguson), anything I say now is going to be misunderstood and out of context. I was a PSG player. I love the club. I love the fans. We are fighting in Ligue 1 and the Champions League.
“My contract is to 2023. This season and one season more. I don’t say nothing different. I am very happy at PSG. That is a fact.”
Meanwhile, United are continuing their search for an interim manager and have had numerous expressions of interest, with Michael Carrick in caretaker charge for the time being, and making a winning start as the 2-0 victory at Villarreal on Tuesday evening saw United qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League.
Is Poch really happy at PSG?
Sky Sports News reporter Paul Gilmour:
“This was a good performance from Pochettino, he was saying all the right things. He is of course under contract like he said until 2023.
“We have not heard the end of this. There was no clear denial, the closest we got was him denying these reports he’s unhappy in Paris.
“Clearly the focus will shift onto United as he is under contract. If United desperately want to get him, it’s a case of bringing PSG to the negotiation table.
“There is something going on behind the scenes, you just get a feeling for it. I was speaking to one influential person in world football, and it’s their belief Pochettino won’t be PSG head coach for much longer.
“But Pochettino is trying to block all that noise out, focus on the game, and on what he’s doing for PSG.”
How much would Man Utd have to pay PSG for Poch?
United would have to pay £8.4m if they want to prise Pochettino away from PSG, according to French football expert Jonathan Johnson.
“No move has been made by any party at this time – that’s my understanding,” he told Sky Sports News. “But if United were to knock on PSG’s door, willing to pay the full compensation for Pochettino – which I believe is upwards of €10m [£8.4m] – then that might bring PSG to the table.
“PSG are aware that there might be another candidate interested in replacing Pochettino in Zinedine Zidane, who would probably be the only viable candidate for PSG for any potential succession of the Argentinian.
“There’s not going to be a repeat of last year, when PSG sacked Thomas Tuchel mid-season. From a sporting point of view, it’s impossible to justify because of the results that the team is getting on the pitch, and also from a financial point of view, because the compensation would be even greater than that of the German.
“The only real option is for United to come to PSG and say that they are willing to pay out the entire duration of his contract.”