Why sacked Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino was rejected by the Glazers

Mauricio Pochettino has been turned down by Man United in the past (Image: Getty)

Mauricio Pochettino once again finds himself being linked with a move to Manchester United this summer. And the arrival of INEOS chief Sir Jim Ratcliffe may convince the club to finally pull the trigger and employ the newly available free agent.

It’s widely anticipated the Red Devils will cut ties with incumbent Erik ten Hag despite Saturday’s FA Cup triumph over Manchester City. The Dutchman may have guided the club back into the Europa League as a result, but an eighth-place Premier League finish – the worst in United’s history – may have already sealed his sacking.

Pochettino, 52, was fired by Chelsea earlier in May despite a respectable finish to the campaign being good enough to place sixth in the league. The former Tottenham and Southampton boss hasn’t been short of admirers at Old Trafford in the past, though it’s believed the reasons are known as to why United have been reluctant to appoint him in the past.

One such consideration came in 2022 when it appeared Pochettino was in a two-horse race with Ten Hag for the United vacancy. However, journalist Guillem Balague wrote for BBC Sport that certain decision-makers at Old Trafford considered his achievements at Paris Saint-Germain “insufficient” and plumped for the Dutchman instead.

It was also suggested the Glazer family was more impressed by Ten Hag’s feats with Ajax, which included three league titles and an appearance in the Champions League semi-finals. Pochettino later addressed the sliding-doors moment and appeared accepting as to why he didn’t land the United job.

He was quoted by Radio Marca in 2022 when he said: “Football is timing. These are the moments for it to coincide and for that marriage to happen. Sometimes it’s just a matter of time.

Erik ten Hag faces the United sack despite winning the FA Cup (Image: Getty)

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“I don’t believe in trains passing only once. I think that sometimes you have to have the necessary patience, and you have to know how to wait. The ‘timing’ is handled by football, it is true that my name has always been associated with big clubs.”

Just like that, it appears the same train could well do the rounds again and give Pochettino a fresh shot at the United job. That’s assuming the new hierarchy is more open to his candidacy than the previous regime.

Pochettino’s latest role at Stamford Bridge certainly didn’t come without its hiccups. However, one could argue the high turnover of players and focus on recruiting young prospects would have hampered just about any manager.

Not only that, but Chelsea’s strong finish to the season suggested things were finally coming together for the South American boss. The Blues suffered just two defeats across their last 20 games of the season (not including extra time) and concluded the campaign with five straight wins to finish higher than United in the table.

Without any official decision made on Ten Hag’s future, any speculation of a move for free agent Pochettino is nothing more than that at this stage. However, United may not get many more opportunities quite like this to finally sign the strategist so often linked with them of late.

Others in contention include Roberto De Zerbi, Graham Potter, and former United coach Kieran McKenna. Europa League football now awaits whoever leads United next season, thanks to Saturday’s FA Cup triumph, while Pochettino’s old club Chelsea now have to settle for a place in the Europa Conference League as a result.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1903710/pochettino-manchester-united-chelsea-ten-hag-glazers