On Friday, it was reported that Mauricio Pochettino was willing to turn down the position at Manchester United in order to take over at Real Madrid. With Carlo Ancelotti’s position at Real Madrid in jeopardy, the Italian may be fired and replaced by the current Paris Saint-Germain manager. If that occurs, it may pave the way for the Red Devils to hire Erik ten Hag instead.
Pochettino has long been a fan of Manchester United.
They considered employing him as Sir Alex Ferguson’s replacement in 2013, only for the Scot to choose David Moyes instead.
Pochettino was also considered by Manchester United in 2016 after Louis van Gaal was fired for failing to lead the club into the Champions League.
However, Jose Mourinho was available at the time, so the Portuguese were finally granted the keys to Old Trafford.
When United fired Mourinho and recruited interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in December 2018, the idea was to pursue Pochettino at the end of the season.
Nonetheless, Solskjaer performed so well that Ed Woodward and Joel Glazer jumped the gun and hired the 49-year-old instead.
In 2022, Pochettino is once again the favorite for the United manager’s post.
Regardless of how PSG performs in the Champions League this season, the Argentine is expected to leave at the end of the season.
Nonetheless, while United is interested in the former Tottenham Hotspur manager, they may be out of luck.
Catalan newspaper Sport reported on Friday that the 49-year-old was considering a move to Real Madrid amid uncertainties surrounding Ancelotti’s position at the Bernabeu.
So, if that’s the case, the Red Devils could consider Ten Hag as a backup option.
The Ajax manager is certain to quit the Amsterdam club at the end of the season, especially with the departure of close buddy Marc Overmars.
Ten Hag is also on United’s shortlist of possible replacements for Ralf Rangnick, who will join the club as a consultant.
If the Dutchman is appointed, United will provide him with transfer funds as they attempt to win the Premier League title the following season.
So, who would be his first two signees?
After years of uneven recruitment, United already knows which areas they want to strengthen.
A midfielder is a priority, especially with Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek’s futures in doubt.
And United wants a forward regardless of whether Cristiano Ronaldo stays at Old Trafford for another year.
Ten Hag may aim to bring Ryan Gravenberch with him for the midfield position.
The Dutch international is already a household name and is regarded as one of Europe’s brightest future possibilities.
Gravenberch would add style and unity to the club, which is currently lacking in the center of the pitch.
While Bayern Munich has been heavily connected, his tight friendship with Ten Hag may see him accompany his current management to the Premier League if an appointment is made.
In terms of a new forward, it was recently revealed that United had been scouting Ajax’s Antony.
Due to his superb skill and eye for goal, the Brazilian has drawn comparisons to Neymar, with the 22-year-old notching seven goals in 19 Eredivisie outings this season.
Both Antony and Gravenberch would be excellent additions to United’s roster.
And their tight association with Ajax may benefit them, especially with Edwin van der Sar now working for the Dutch giants.
Following reports that Pochettino is considering a move to La Liga, all indications lead to United pursuing Ten Hag.
What happens in the end, though, is something that only time will tell.