Tuesday, May 24

Mauricio Pochettino replaced as Man Utd’s top choice to replace Ralf Rangnick in summer rebuild

Ajax manager Erik Ten Hag is now the leading contender to take over as permanent Manchester United manager after the Red Devils reportedly cooled their interest in Mauricio Pochettino.

The Argentine had been United’s first choice to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when the Norwegian was sacked back in November following a dismal start to the 2021-22 campaign.

Pochettino was initially keen to make the move but his current club PSG put a block on United’s approach as Zinedine Zidane, who was their first choice option to replace the former Tottenham boss, stated that he was not ready for a return to the dugout.

The Red Devils have now tried to lure Pochettino twice to Old Trafford, with Sir Alex Ferguson a keen admirer. Their hopes have also been lifted by the fact his family still lives in England.

However, a report in The Times claims Pochettino is no longer United’s top option. Instead, they have now turned to Ajax chief Ten Hag to take over Ralf Rangnick this summer.

The Dutchman is widely regarded as one of the best managers in European football, having won two Eredivisie titles since taking over in December 2017.

His playing style is also a major plus point for United and would certainly endear the fans.

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Ten Hag ready to new test

Speaking back in December, the 51-year-old also admitted that he is prepared for a new challenge.

“I think I’m ready for it. I would be happy to take on that challenge,” said Ten Hag.

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“But I’m not chasing it. If it turns out that that step will never come, I will not say that my coaching career has failed.

“But I think I have enough competences to take on that challenge.”

United are expected to with interim manager Rangnick until the end of the season. That is despite the German already receiving criticism for the team failing to lift their performances since his arrival.

The Red Devils were woeful in their last outing, losing 1-0 at home to Wolves in a listless display.

They are next in action in the FA Cup, when United take on Aston Villa on Monday night.

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