Mauricio Pochettino is currently leading Paris Saint-Germain, a team with a potentially historically impressive top three from Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
Despite this rally of elite strikers, Pochettino is said to be considering joining Manchester United, claims BBC Sport.
Aside from wanting to leave France for England, where his family still lives, what excites Mauricio Pochettino about the Manchester United squad?
The answer, as it turns out, is almost everything. United’s squad is almost self-designed, made up of players Pochettino admired, worked with or tried to sign on previous occasions. Let’s dive in.
(Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA / Getty Images)
Pochettino’s dream squad
Let’s start with the Manchester United talisman, Bruno Fernandes, that Pochettino excruciatingly got close to signing in August 2019 after the Red Devils resigned from a move.
“I was near Tottenham. In the summer I was closer to Tottenham than Manchester, ”Fernandes told the official Manchester United podcast.
Football London reported that Tottenham’s deal failed because Daniel Levy offered a € 20m add-on deal for € 45m upfront when Sporting wanted a better fee. It was a costly mistake.
If Spurs had managed to sign Fernandes, there is a good chance Pochettino would not have been sacked early in the 2019 season.
He wasn’t the only one on Pochettino’s wish list. Far from it. The Times reported that Tottenham tried to sign Aaron Wan-Bissaka in 2019 only to screw up the deal when they offered a player plus cash instead of completing United’s offer.
Pochettino is also an admirer of Harry Maguire. Former player Danny Rose told The Lockdown Tactics podcast in 2016, “I remember playing Hull on White Hart Lane [in December 2016] and we won 3-0. Mauricio was the manager and the gaffer was all over Harry. I think, you [Tottenham] were there for him. “
The Mail reported that Tottenham tried to sign Maguire in 2018 but the center-back picked Leicester and assessed his chances of first-team football as better than risking replacing Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld. The Sun, meanwhile, claimed Tottenham’s offer wasn’t as lucrative compared to Leicester.
It doesn’t stop there. United’s new boy Jadon Sancho was a player Pochettino was looking to sign when he made his decision to leave City in 2017, ESPN reported. A deal turned out to be too tricky and he signed with Dortmund.
Pochettino told SkySports 2019: “We knew very well that he was able to do what he is doing now with playtime.
“With the quality he has shown at Manchester City and with his national team, we have spoken over the last few years that he is a huge opportunity to become a very good player.”
(Photo by Ash Donelon / Manchester United via Getty Images)
The Argentine also has a story with Anthony Martial who tried to sign the Frenchman while he was in Monaco, The Mail reported in 2015. Tottenham couldn’t get the numbers up.
Tottenham had a second bite and expressed an interest in signing Martial from United in 2018 while unsettled under Jose Mourinho, Mirror.
Pochettino has previously worked with one of United’s stars and helped Luke Shaw’s career in Southampton.
In Pochettino’s bio, quoted by Sky, Shaw said, “I hope one day I can play for him again. And I think he really wants me to play under him again. “
He’s not the only left-back on United’s squad. O Jogo reported in 2018 that Alex Telles was on Pochettino’s shortlist.
United goalkeeper Nathan Bishop was once on trial at Pochettino’s Tottenham, while ESPN reported that Tottenham followed Dean Henderson’s development in early 2019 while Pochettino took over the helm.
One player who piqued his interest was Donny van de Beek, who scored against Pochettinos Tottenham in the 2019 Champions League semi-finals.
He said to El Pais: “Van de Beek. Nobody talks about him a lot. But he has a dynamic in the game, he stands behind Tadic, he comes, he works, he scores goals. “
The Sun reported on Tottenham’s transfer interest in the Dutchman in 2019, despite joining Tanguy Ndombele instead, a decision Pochettino may have regretted.
(Photo by Catherine Ivill / Getty Images)
And what about Manchester United’s top star, Cristiano Ronaldo? Well, if you didn’t know, Mauricio Pochettino happens to be a great admirer.
Speaking to Marca in 2018, Pochettino said: “He is a phenomenon. He was named “Best” and the truth is, he deserved it. In addition to his qualities as a professional, he is a role model. He never tires of repeating that the secret is to work hard, to try to take care of yourself. Every player should use it. “
A squad full of intrigue for Pochettino
In some of these cases, Pochettino’s ideas may have worked out for better or for worse, as any gamer has done.
Will 2021 Ronaldo be the player Pochettino wants to lead his attack? Is a stagnant Anthony Martial a player who is still of interest to Pochettino?
(Photo by Marcio Machado / Eurasia Sport Images / Getty Images)
Every player would have to prove themselves Pochettino again, even Luke Shaw.
But what this shows is how talent, especially in the United roster, has enough intrigue in store for Pochettino to tempt him.
It would take Pochettino a lot to leave PSG with all his talents in the middle of the season. United has enough for him to work with, players he knows and rates highly.
If he had been given the funding to work at Tottenham, several of those players could have played for him by now.
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