Mauricio Pochettino has been out of the game since he was sacked from Spurs in November, and has been linked with a move to Manchester United ever since. It kind of makes sense: United haven’t progressed under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and if they fail to finish in the Premier League top six—and they’re eighth in the league at the moment—it is very likely the Norwegian will be fired.
United will give Poch a bigger budget, and a side with a lot of heritage, who could potentially match his ambition. But if Poch goes to Manchester, it will make much more sense for him to go to City, not United. Pep Guardiola’s side has struggled (by their own lofty standards) this season and is in need of a rebuild.
Pep tends not to stay with teams too long, and if he has lost the ability to motivate his side to perform to his breathlessly energetic high standards, he may have to move on this summer. Even if Pep says he will stay right now, this looks like a good jumping-off point for a manager who reportedly has a break clause in his contract, that will allow him to leave at the end of the season.
It’s also a far better fit for Poch than United would be. City’s players are already used to a similar high-press, possession-based style to the one he favors. It would be a smoother transition for the Argentine than going to United, where a complete change of style and a complete overhaul of the squad is required.
Poch would have the opportunity to work with City’s excellent academy products, he would have completely unlimited resources and a much better starting point for Champions League glory. After all, United don’t look likely to even be in the Champions League next season.
Pochettino will eventually land at a top European side—and that might even be Atletico Madrid, whose relationship with his fellow Argentina teammate Diego Simeone looks to be reaching its end. But City is by far his best option, and there are very few other managers in the world who could follow Pep at the Etihad.
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