Mauricio Pochettino missed out on becoming Manchester United’s new manager due to the complications of negotiating with Paris Saint-Germain, according to reports.
The Red Devils announced on Thursday that Erik ten Hag will be their new manager, following months of speculation that either the current Ajax coach or Pochettino would take over at Old Trafford.
But the Athletic claims PSG’s insistence that a fee of £10m would be required to extract the Argentinian from the Parc des Princes stalled those negotiations between Pochettino and United, and gave ten Hag an early edge in the race, one he ultimately capitalised on.
They add that fee was eventually dropped to £5m, while reports in France claimed it would cost PSG £17m to sack Pochettino, which resulted in both teams waiting to see who would blink first.
But ten Hag wowed United’s hierarchy in the interview, which proved key in him being offered the job, while the report adds there were concerns Pochettino ‘had already done his career-best work’ and there was unease at how he struggled to deal with the big personalities in the PSG dressing room.
Who else was in the running?
The Athletic adds, as well ten Hag and Pochettino, Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui was spoken to about the possibility of becoming the next manager, while Brendan Rodgers was also an early candidate.
United reached out to Luis Enrique, but were told he was not willing to vacate the Spain role before the World Cup. They also claim Thomas Tuchel was considered in March when sanctions were applied to Chelsea and their owner Roman Abramovich.
Meanwhile, ex-strikers Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie were sounded out over the possibility of joining the coaching team, although neither materialised.
Planning for the summer
For many fans, attention now turns to this summer and which players ten Hag will bring into the club.
The Times report that the 52-year-old will be given a budget of £120m to spend on players, with Ajax winger Antony an option for £55m.
Lisandro Martinez, Matthijs de Ligt, Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips are also targets for United.