Mauricio Pochettino remains Manchester United's top target, according to reports.

It may be some time before the Paris Saint-Germain boss ends up at Old Trafford, though. 

United appear set to finish this season with an interim manager before making a permanent move for the sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's long-term successor.
 

TOP STORY – UNITED FOCUSED ON INTERIM MANAGER OPTIONS

All indications are that Mauricio Pochettino will end up at Manchester United eventually, but it could take several months.

The Daily Star reports Pochettino will have to wait six months – through to the end of this season – before jumping from Paris Saint-Germain to Old Trafford.

The report says United have not made any official overtures to PSG and are focused on finding an interim boss instead, with hopes of appointing one by mid-December.

Julen Lopetegui and Ernesto Valverde are among the candidates for that role, claims the Daily Star, while the Mirror says Ralf Rangnick, Paulo Fonseca, Lucien Favre and Rudi Garcia also are in the mix, along with caretaker manager Michael Carrick.

ROUND-UP

- United and Newcastle are the top contenders to sign Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid, according to The Sun.

- Liverpool and Barcelona are eyeing a move for Christian Pulisic, reports El Nacional, but Chelsea's €50million price tag would be too much for Barca and the Blues prefer not to sell the USA international to another Premier League club.

- Chelsea are interested in adding defender Attila Szalai from Fenerbahce, says Football Insider.

- Adama Traore could be on the move in January as Wolves are prepared to listen to offers for the 25-year-old, Football Insider reports.

Mauricio Pochettino refused to shut down rumours he could become the next Manchester United manager after Paris Saint-Germain lost to Manchester City.

The Ligue 1 leaders took the lead at the Etihad Stadium but goals from Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus secured a 2-1 victory for City and top spot in Champions League Group A.

The match has been overshadowed by speculation over Pochettino's future, with the former Tottenham boss said to be one of United's top targets to succeed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager.

Despite insisting before the game that he was committed to PSG, talk has persisted that the Argentine is keen to return to his family in England and would relish the chance to take over at Old Trafford.

Speaking after his side's defeat in Manchester, Pochettino declined to rule out the prospect of leaving for United.

"The players are well aware of the situation," he said, as per L'Equipe.

"There are rumours in this environment, some positive, some negative. Now is not the time to talk about it.

"We have to improve in all aspects, all areas. We are improving. I'm happy with the process. There are things that are better now than a month ago. Little by little, the team will improve."

City looked the stronger side for much of the contest, finishing with 2.09 expected goals to the visitors' 1.04.

They had 16 shots to PSG's seven and 37 touches in their opponents' box while conceding only 10 as they largely limited the impact of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

Pochettino accepted his side were second-best in the first half but felt the game was under their control when they held the lead.

"There were two halves," he said. "They started better. They were very aggressive in pressing. There were some good things but others that need to be improved.

"At 0-0 at half-time, we were able to solve some problems. We had the game under control at 1-0. I'm disappointed with the result. You have to progress every day."

You won't often find a meeting of two Champions League heavyweights in which the 90 minutes on the pitch are a sideshow, but they were in Manchester City's 2-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain.

For one thing, RB Leipzig were 4-0 up half-time against Club Brugge, making the result at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday largely redundant: both these teams knew they would be into the last 16 should Leipzig win.

The game was therefore a sub-plot, albeit of the calibre of the Succession writers' room. The main story related to a wholly different dysfunctional dynasty, the pre-match discourse dominated by Mauricio Pochettino and Manchester United's latest post-Ferguson search for a manager. You have to hand it to United for making one of their rivals' biggest games of the season more about them. Noisy neighbours, indeed.

Pochettino, we are led to believe, has misgivings about staying as PSG head coach, despite insisting this week that he was enjoying life at the club. With his family still in London and an uncomfortable feeling around Parc des Princes, the former Tottenham boss, it is said, would be greatly interested in a return to England via United.

It definitely looked like PSG minds were elsewhere in the first half. Their plans were upset by the loss of Marco Verratti and Georginio Wijnaldum to late injuries, while Sergio Ramos is still a spectator, and they were distinctly second best against the Premier League champions despite the 0-0 scoreline.

While the glittering trident of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe showed only the odd spark, City's forwards shone brightly, Riyad Mahrez setting the tone with every magnificent first touch. Ilkay Gundogan hit the post when he should have scored; Marquinhos led a penalty-box blockade, the captain and Achraf Hakimi each stopping goal-bound efforts.

There, at least, Pochettino deserves credit. With Ander Herrera, Idrissa Gueye and Leandro Paredes screening the back four, it was hard for City to test Keylor Navas despite 'MNM' guarding their own defenders about as well as a chocolate shell protects a peanut. Keeping it tight and trusting his stars to improvise is not a method for which Pochettino is renowned; it's straight out of the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer playbook, one that brought him four wins over Pep Guardiola in all competitions as United manager.

But it got PSG their lead five minutes into the second half. Messi's cross was deflected to Mbappe and he blasted through Ederson's legs. It was his 29th Champions League goal in 50 games, a tally bettered only by two French players in history and one you suspect he will easily surpass.

PSG began to threaten a second on the break, but after Herrera was lost to injury, Raheem Sterling stabbed in at the far post after Rodri brilliantly played in Kyle Walker. It was no less than City deserved and few would have begrudged them their winner, Gabriel Jesus steering the ball in from Bernardo Silva's lay-off after Mahrez was given space to cross from the right for what felt like the 37th time. It was a great antidote to their 2-0 loss in Paris, where City did everything with the ball except put it between the goal posts before Messi spectacularly killed the contest.

And that's perhaps the key takeaway from this not-quite-dead-rubber. The two most lavish projects in football history have followed disparate routes: while one is carried by individual stars, the other is powered by the magic of its manager. Neither has yet led to the Champions League trophy, but on this evidence, it's the men in sky blue who will be challenging this season.

City, incontrovertibly, are Guardiola's City. This is not Pochettino's PSG. And as long as that is the case, the talk of discontent will continue, and the shadow of Old Trafford will loom large in the City of Light.

Gabriel Jesus's late winner saw Manchester City come from behind to beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 on Wednesday, sealing top spot in Group A for Pep Guardiola's men.

Mauricio Pochettino, who has been linked with City's neighbours Manchester United, needed his team to avoid defeat if they were to stand a chance of winning the group, but ultimately the hosts' dominance told.

Guardiola would have been frustrated with the amount of chances City spurned in the first half, though, particularly given Kylian Mbappe then put PSG in front four minutes into the second period.

PSG had improved considerably as an attacking threat, but City upped the intensity again and deservedly levelled through Raheem Sterling, before substitute Jesus completed an impressive victory.

RB Leipzig's win at Club Brugge means PSG will qualify for the knockout phase regardless, however.

City appeared in control almost from the outset, first going close after six minutes when Rodri's glancing header was cleared off the line by Presnel Kimpembe.

Keylor Navas then denied Riyad Mahrez at full-stretch shortly after Ilkay Gundogan hit the post from the centre of the box, with PSG creating precious little at the other end.

But PSG took a rare chance early in the second half, when Mbappe drilled through Ederson's legs after Lionel Messi's cross at the end of a flowing move fell kindly at the back post.

City's equaliser 13 minutes later was similarly well-worked, though, Rodri picking out Kyle Walker at the far post, whose pass across the face of goal was nudged on by Jesus for Sterling to prod home.

Jesus then got the winner 14 minutes from time, guiding in a composed finished after being delicately teed up by Bernardo Silva.

Lionel Messi's Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Marco Verratti said it is easy to forget the six-time Ballon d'Or winner is a "perfectly normal person".

Messi's arrival at PSG garnered huge fanfare and interest and Verratti admitted players treated the Argentinean as the "king of the locker room" upon his arrival.

However, the Italy international said now he had got to know Messi, he had realised he is a "simple guy".

"We forget at times that Messi is a perfectly normal person like everyone else," Verratti told Sky Sport Italia ahead of PSG's clash with Manchester City on Wednesday.

"It was a difficult start for him, he is settling in more and more, we welcomed him like a king to the locker room and it’s a privilege to play alongside him.

"He's spectacular and enjoys himself in training too. He's a really simple guy without airs and I like people like him, because I am the same. We get along both on and off the field."

Messi scored a Barcelona club-record 672 goals across 778 appearances, and has netted four goals in nine games in all competitions for PSG since his August move.

Sergio Ramos was another big off-season addition for PSG, signing as a free agent from Real Madrid and he is homing in on his long-awaited debut after a calf injury.

PSG head coach Mauricio Pochettino admitted former Madrid captain Ramos is in contention to debut against City midweek, and Verratti was excited about his potential impact.

"Sergio Ramos is a player who needs no introduction," Verratti told reporters. "He has done great things with Real Madrid for many years.

"When we played against him, it was difficult to counter him because he is a player with a great personality, who understands the game well, what he has to do.

"He is a dangerous player in attack, he is a player who defends well, he is a complete player.

"He has shown that throughout his career. We are happy that he can return to the group. It was already a pleasure to train with him during the week. I think that when he's at his best, he can help us a lot."

Lionel Messi's Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Marco Verratti says it is easy to forget the six-time Ballon d'Or winner is a "perfectly normal person".

Messi's arrival at PSG garnered huge fanfare and interest and Verratti admitted players treated the Argentinean as the "king of the locker room" upon his arrival.

However, the Italy international said now he had got to know Messi he had realised that he is a "simple guy".

"We forget at times that Messi is a perfectly normal person like everyone else," Verratti told Sky Sport Italia.

"It was a difficult start for him, he is settling in more and more, we welcomed him like a king to the locker room and it’s a privilege to play alongside him.

"He’s spectacular and enjoys himself in training too. He’s a really simple guy without airs and I like people like him, because I am the same. We get along both on and off the field."

Messi scored a Barcelona club-record 672 goals across 778 appearances, and has netted four goals in nine games in all competitions for PSG since his August move.

Sergio Ramos was another big off-season addition for PSG, signing as a free agent from Real Madrid and he is homing in on his long-awaited debut after a calf injury.

PSG head coach Mauricio Pochettino has admitted that Ramos is in contention to debut against Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday and Verratti was excited about his potential impact.

"Sergio Ramos is a player who needs no introduction," Verratti added. "He has done great things with Real Madrid for many years.

"When we played against him, it was difficult to counter him because he is a player with a great personality, who understands the game well, what he has to do. He is a dangerous player in attack, he is a player who defends well, he is a complete player.

"He has shown that throughout his career. We are happy that he can return to the group. It was already a pleasure to train with him during the week. I think that when he's at his best, he can help us a lot. "

Sergio Ramos has taken "a massive step" in his Paris Saint-Germain career by putting himself in contention to face Manchester City, according to Mauricio Pochettino.

Although former Real Madrid captain Ramos appears only likely to make the bench for Wednesday's heavyweight battle at the Etihad Stadium, he is closer than ever to a long-awaited debut.

Rumours had circulated that PSG were considering getting rid of close-season recruit Ramos before he reached this point, as he battled back from a calf problem.

Yet Pochettino is now planning to include him as a key figure in his team, as soon as the Spain legend is fully fit.

He was physically ready enough to travel to England and give Pochettino an option, with the PSG head coach saying ahead of the game: "Sergio is doing well in the last week.

"It was a joy for him and for the team to be involved in the training session, and then he needs to build his fitness step by step. I think a very good step, a massive step, is to be involved here in the game. That is very important.

"Not only is it a first step, but it's a massive step for him to be involved. Then we will think to give, when the opportunity arrives, maybe the possibility to play."

Pochettino said watching Ramos progress from this point would be key, as he attempts to match his team-mates pace for pace.

PSG midfielder Marco Verratti enthused about the prospect of lining up in the same team as the 35-year-old Champions League great, who has won this competition four times.

As PSG hunt down a first triumph at the highest level in Europe, having a sharp Ramos at the heart of their defence later in the tournament could make all the difference.

"Sergio Ramos is a player who needs no introduction," said Verratti. "He achieved so much at Real Madrid over many years, and he is always a difficult player to face. He has so much personality. He understands the game and what he needs to do.

"He is great in attack and a fantastic defender. He has shown how good he is throughout his career. We are pleased he is in the squad, and the fact he has been training with us has already been fantastic. He is now in better shape, and he can really help this team."

Ramos only made 15 LaLiga appearances in his final season at Madrid, and last played in May when Los Blancos went down to Chelsea in the Champions League.

However, he stands joint ninth on the list of players with the most Champions League appearances, having played in the competition 129 times. He has won 79 of those games, the most by a defender.

His 15 goals have only been beaten by Roberto Carlos and Gerard Pique (both 16) among defenders, and Barcelona stalwart Pique is the only defender to have made more headed clearances than Ramos (313 to 293).

Kylian Mbappe missed training with PSG on Monday, but the forward was back on the pitch with his team-mates in Manchester on Tuesday evening.

Pochettino said: "Kylian Mbappe is doing well today. Yesterday, he could not train. But we hope it is a small issue."

The Argentine coach said he hoped Mbappe would be "in the best condition possible" for the game.

PSG are close to securing a place in the last-16 stage, and a win on Wednesday would assure them of a top-two finish in Group A.

Should Mbappe feature, as seems likely, it would be his 50th appearance in the Champions League. That would make him the second-youngest outfield player to reach 50 games in the Champions League at 22 years and 339 days, behind only Cesc Fabregas (22y 331d).

Mauricio Pochettino says his future is "not debatable" as he is happy at Paris Saint-Germain amid reports that he is Manchester United's top target to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United sacked Solskjaer on Sunday following a 4-1 Premier League thrashing at Watford and placed Michael Carrick in temporary charge.

The Red Devils stated that they plan to appoint an interim boss until the end of the season, but there has been increasing talk that they are set to make an approach for Pochettino to take the role on a permanent basis before then.

Former Tottenham head coach Pochettino insisted he is not looking to leave PSG as the Ligue 1 side prepare to face Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday.

He told the media on Tuesday: "I thought I was clear. I said I have a contract for 2023. This season and next. I'm happy at PSG. It's a fact. It's not debatable, I'm happy in Paris."

The 49-year-old Argentine only took over as PSG head coach in January and says he is focused on the job in hand.

Asked again about being linked with United, he said: "We are not here to talk about that. I respect my club, PSG. What the other club does, it does not concern me.

"I am not going to comment on it because everything I am going to say or not will be used. When I was at Espanyol I said I wanted to get to know Sir Alex [former United boss Ferguson].

"If I say it again it will be taken back. I'm happy in Paris. I love the club, I love the supporters. It's wonderful to be at PSG. We have a point lead in Ligue 1 and we face City. "

He added: "Football is today and not tomorrow. In football only results count. Two years ago I left Tottenham and a month before, there were rumours. You have to live in the present, to think that I will stay for life, where I am today.

"But it all depends on the results in football. For the future, we must build our way of playing, have fun and have good results."

Manchester United should move to appoint Mauricio Pochettino as their new manager immediately rather than wait until the end of the season if he is their first choice, according to former Old Trafford hero Mark Hughes.

United sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday in the wake of a humiliating 4-1 defeat to promoted Watford a day earlier, but the writing was already on the wall.

After an inconsistent start to the 2021-22 campaign, the beginning of the end for Solskjaer was arguably the 5-0 home loss to Liverpool on October 24.

That thrashing by Jurgen Klopp's side set several unwanted records, including United's largest margin of defeat against their fierce rivals at home and the first time the Red Devils had trailed by four goals at half-time in the Premier League.

Michael Carrick has been installed in temporary charge until United can hire an interim manager to guide them through to the end of the season, a somewhat peculiar and convoluted process that in itself has attracted criticism.

Numerous coaches have been credited with interest in the role, with Paris Saint-Germain boss Pochettino – strongly linked to United in the past – seemingly chief among them, and Hughes thinks the club need to have the courage of their convictions if the Argentinian is the man they want.

"In terms of resources, to be able to get a top manager out of a top club, clearly United are one of the few clubs that are able to do that," Hughes told talkSPORT. "I think for a long time United have coveted Pochettino.

"I think they've wined and dined him [in the past], I think he's been out with Sir Alex [Ferguson]. I think that was well documented a few years ago.

"I think he's well thought of within the corridors of United, so it wouldn't surprise me if he's the one they really want. Whether or not he's able to come to the club quickly, that's an issue for them.

"I think if he's the man, they should just go out and go get him. This interim-to-interim position doesn't seem to be the right way to go about it.

"But clearly, if they have to wait, they seem prepared to do that. I just feel it's Pochettino that they really, really want."

Former Tottenham head coach Pochettino has only been in charge at PSG since January, though there have been rumours of friction between him and sporting director Leonardo.

Speculation has suggested that PSG would be willing for Pochettino to leave, assuming a compensation package can be agreed and they have a replacement lined up.

Zinedine Zidane, also linked to United but said to have little interest in moving to England, has been mentioned as a likely candidate to replace Pochettino at PSG.

Pochettino is in Manchester this week as PSG face Manchester City on Wednesday in the Champions League – United begin the post-Solskjaer era away to Villarreal on Tuesday.

Pep Guardiola has insisted a lack of trophies does not stop Mauricio Pochettino from being considered among the world's top managers.

Paris Saint-Germain boss Pochettino has been widely tipped as the leading contender to take over at Manchester United following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's sacking on Sunday.

Pochettino arrived at the Parc des Princes in January and missed out on Ligue 1 and Champions League success in his first half-season in charge.

However, the Argentinian has lifted the Trophee des Champions and Coupe de France this year – his first cup triumphs following five trophyless years with Tottenham.

With speculation mounting that Pochettino is interested in the United job, Guardiola has defended the ex-Espanyol and Southampton coach's major trophies record.

"I am sure managers become better every year. Every season you have a lot of learnings. I am pretty sure [Pochettino] is an excellent manager," he said ahead of City's showdown with PSG on Wednesday.

"You can be a top manager and not win titles. For the managers who have a chance to win, it is because you are at top clubs with good investment and top players. 

"That doesn't mean managers in the Championship or not at the top of the Premier League aren't excellent managers."

City welcome PSG to the Etihad Stadium requiring a point to secure a place in the last 16 of the Champions League, while a win will seal top spot in Group A with a game to spare.

PSG are winless in three games on their travels in the competition and could go without an away victory throughout the group stage for the first time since 2004-05.

English champions City were beaten 2-0 in the reverse fixture in Paris two months ago, with Lionel Messi getting off the mark with his first of four goals for PSG to date in all competitions.

PSG's travelling party is packed full of superstar attackers and Guardiola acknowledged there is little advice he can give his players when it comes to stopping Messi in particular.

"It's so difficult. Sometimes when he has the ball he doesn't know what he's going to do – so imagine you have to know what he is going to do," Guardiola said.

"There are players who you can say if they will go right or left. When he has the ball, not even he knows exactly what he is going to do.

"I cannot tell the players what he will do, but hey, it happens with Neymar and [Kylian] Mbappe, with [Angel] Di Maria, with all the players up front in this team.

"Every player could be a complete star in any team around the world, and all four are in the same team. But I am still glad and happy that he is still playing at the level he plays."

City have scored 15 goals in the Champions League so far this season, a tally bettered only by Bayern Munich's 17, with the Citizens averaging 3.4 expected goals per game.

Last year's beaten finalists are averaging a goal every 37 minutes in all competitions this term, meanwhile, despite playing without a recognised striker through the middle.

Guardiola, who is hopeful of having Jack Grealish back from injury in midweek, explained that playing with or without a number nine is not too dissimilar.

"If a full back goes into midfield you can say he is an attacking midfielder, for example" he said.

"The movements of the players – on the tactics board you put out the names, but after, everyone has permission to drive in the box and has permission to get back and help."

Zinedine Zidane is not interested in the Manchester United job but he could replace the man who gets it. 

The hottest name in the mix at Old Trafford is Mauricio Pochettino. 

Paris Saint-Germain could have a replacement for him ready and waiting. 

 

TOP STORY – POCHETTINO, ZIDANE IN DELICATE DANCE

Manchester United's manager opening could set off a chain reaction, reports Marca. 

With Mauricio Pochettino perhaps interested in a way out at Paris Saint-Germain, he could head to Old Trafford. 

That would leave the PSG job to Zinedine Zidane, who has made it clear he is not interested in moving to Manchester. 

The Mirror reports United would have to pay PSG €10million (£8.4m) for Pochettino, but Marca says PSG's players believe Zidane's arrival at the Parc des Princes could be "imminent". 

 

 ROUND-UP

- Bayern Munich are willing to make Pedri their most expensive signing ever if they can lure him from Barcelona despite his €1billion release clause, reports AS. 

- If Alexandre Lacazette leaves Arsenal for LaLiga, he would prefer Atletico Madrid over Barca, according to El Nacional. Milan and Marseille also reportedly are interested in the 30-year-old. 

- Renato Sanches could be headed for Milan after the season, reports Calciomercato, with Arsenal and Barca also linked to the Lille midfielder. 

- Villarreal are eyeing Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic for a January move, reports the Mirror. 

Manchester United's managerial post is vacant after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked on Sunday.

Solskjaer had led United since December 2018 but failed to win a trophy, finishing runners-up in last season's Premier League and Europa League.

The lean spell has United desperate to return to their former glories with their next managerial appointment.

 

TOP STORY – ZIDANE NOT KEEN ON MAN UTD JOB

World Cup winner and ex-Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane is not interested in the vacant Manchester United job, reports BBC Sport.

Zidane left Madrid in May after failing to win LaLiga and has been linked with a host of roles since.

United have approached the 49-year-old about their vacant post but he is not interested in the position at this point.

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- Fichajes claims that reported United target Mauricio Pochettino would put Tottenham's Harry Kane at the top of his wishlist if he got the Red Devils job. The current Paris Saint-Germain boss is among those linked with the vacant post. The Telegraph claims that Pochettino is open to moving to Old Trafford at the end of this season.

- Ajax boss Erik ten Hag is United's second choice behind Pochettino reports Sky Sports, while The Sun claims the Red Devils have already approached Leicester City's Brendan Rodgers.

- Sport claims that new Barcelona boss Xavi wants to sign Al-Sadd's Algeria international striker Baghdad Bounedjah. Xavi coached Al-Sadd until taking over at Barca earlier this month.

- Tottenham may make a move for Roma midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo who is unhappy at the club, claims Calciomercato.

- Fichajes reports that Real Madrid have an interest in Mason Mount, who is currently in talks with Chelsea on a new deal. Manchester City and Bayern Munich are also interested in Mount's services.

Manchester United's 4-1 embarrassment at the hands of Watford proved to be the final straw for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Red Devils have performed poorly this season, losing five of their past seven Premier League fixtures, with the loss at Vicarage Road their heaviest defeat against a promoted side since September 1989.

Saturday's demolition may have been the final nail, but a 5-0 crushing by Liverpool on October 24 seemed to make Solskjaer's departure a case of when, not if. 

The thrashing by Jurgen Klopp's side set several unwanted records, including United's largest margin of defeat against Liverpool at home and the first time the Red Devils had trailed by four goals at half-time in the Premier League.

Solskjaer only signed a new three-year deal with an option for an additional year in July, but disappointing results – including a home humbling by Manchester City since the Liverpool game – have forced the Norwegian out before a Champions League trip to Villarreal.

With Solskjaer through the exit door, Michael Carrick is in temporary charge. But who might take his spot and be charged with guiding United back to the top? Stats Perform takes a look at some of the favourites.

Zinedine Zidane

A free agent – and a particularly glamorous option – is Zinedine Zidane. The former France star's second stint as Real Madrid boss came to an end in May, and he remains available.

Zidane won the Champions League three times in a row in his first spell as Los Blancos head coach and also claimed two LaLiga titles over his five years in the role.

The 49-year-old is the record holder for most consecutive LaLiga away wins (13) and the longest unbeaten run in Spanish football (40 games) and United would surely see him as an upgrade on Solskjaer.

Zidane has also previously coached Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane, to great success, and might be the perfect candidate to get United's stars working together cohesively. And he just may persuade Paul Pogba to stay.

Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers is less decorated than the previous name on this list, but he has a wealth of experience in the English game and has done an admirable job in his current post as Leicester City head coach, guiding the Foxes to their first FA Cup triumph last season as well as successive fifth-placed Premier League finishes.

He also claimed back-to-back domestic trebles in his two and a half seasons with Celtic, but his association with United's rivals Liverpool may prove to be an obstacle, having come within two points of winning the Premier League in his second season on Merseyside.

Rodgers has been linked to the post but said this week the reports were "disrespectful" to Solskjaer "when you have a manager in place, a good manager and a good man, who is working hard at the club". He added: "I am here as the Leicester City manager, proud to be here, privileged to be here and fully committed to the players, the club, the ownership. That's about it, all the other noise around that is something we can't control."

Mauricio Pochettino

Pochettino has reportedly long been admired by United, being regularly linked with a move to Old Trafford in his five-year spell in north London, having taken Tottenham to a Champions League final in that time.

However, the Argentine only joined Paris Saint-Germain in January and signed a contract extension until 2023 in July, and he is coaching a team that includes Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, not to mention the rest of PSG's star-studded squad.

Never say never, but this deal would certainly be a difficult one for United to pull off given the timing.

Erik ten Hag

Erik ten Hag has impressed in his time at Ajax, winning two Eredivisie titles and embarking on a memorable run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018-19, knocking Madrid and Juventus out before going out on away goals to Pochettino's Spurs.

Ajax have been entertaining and effective under Ten Hag in Europe this term and, ahead of Sunday's game in hand at RKC Waalwijk, are three points behind title rivals PSV after beating them 5-0 earlier in the season.

However, it remains to be seen if the Dutchman – who was also linked with the Newcastle United job that Eddie Howe now occupies – would be willing to leave mid-season.

Ralf Rangnick

Ralf Rangnick, who is working for Lokomotiv Moscow as their head of sports and development but is better known for his high-pressing philosophy as a coach and his influence on some of the Bundesliga's brightest minds, could be a short-term option for United.

The 63-year-old's managerial career dates back to 1983 when he started in charge of Viktoria Backnang but – despite spells with RB Leipzig, Schalke and Hoffenheim – the German remains relatively unknown outside his homeland.

Rangnick faced United in his time with Schalke, who were defeated by Alex Ferguson's side in the 2011 Champions League semi-final as the Red Devils made their third final in four years.

Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino has revealed he did not have any concerns about Lionel Messi's Ligue 1 goal drought prior to the forward opening his account in the competition against Nantes.

Messi had made five league appearances for the capital club without scoring before netting the third goal in the 3-1 victory at the Parc des Princes on Saturday with his 20th shot in Ligue 1.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner has scored in the Champions League for PSG, however, netting three times in three games so far.

Pochettino explained that neither he nor Messi had any doubt that the goals would start to flow domestically, too, and also made a point of praising the team as a whole.

"I don't think Messi was worried about not having scored in the championship, he's a great champion, the best player in the world," Pochettino said after the game.

"He knows how to go through the most difficult times, he has patience, and it's good that he scored.

"We showed our character, but also showed the quality of the team - we played a very good first half.

"The progress of the MNM [Messi, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe]? I always said it was about making connections, spending time together, and also playing competitive matches.

"But it was the whole team that played a good game, as a whole, to allow these talented players to often find themselves in a position to create chances. Too bad we didn't score more goals in the first half."

Messi expressed his delight at opening his Ligue 1 account, finding the back of the net with a sweet strike from outside the box after receiving the ball from Mbappe.

"I am happy with this first goal, I really wanted it," Messi said to Amazon Prime. "I had several chances before in this match and in previous matches.

"I am very happy with this first goal in the championship, I had already scored in the Champions League. There had been chances, but I had not converted, so I am very happy."

Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed Sergio Ramos is closer to finally making his Paris Saint-Germain debut, four months after arriving from Real Madrid.

The Spain international signed on a free transfer in July but has been sidelined with a knee injury.

Speaking at a media conference ahead of Saturday's Ligue 1 clash with Nantes, the PSG head coach said that Ramos is back in training and could be in contention to make the squad.

"Sergio Ramos has been doing well. He has trained with the squad three times and is making good progress. We are pleased and will see if he is available for tomorrow, or for an upcoming game," Pochettino said.

When asked about Ramos's mindset and frustration at not being able to play, the Argentine added: "A World Cup winner like Sergio Ramos with his competitive level and mentality is going to find it difficult to accept not playing as much as he would like.

"But he is very strong. He is working extremely hard, and we think he is making good progress. We have to be patient, as he has been. That speaks to his maturity.

"He is coping well with the [training] workload and that is an important step for him to get closer to playing."

 

A medical update from the club earlier on Friday confirmed Rafinha, Alexandre Letellier, Julian Draxler and Gianluigi Donnarumma will miss the weekend’s game, but Pochettino is expected to have Neymar, Lionel Messi and Leandro Paredes back available, with the latter two both featuring for Argentina during the international break.

On Neymar, Pochettino said: "He has trained well today. I am not certain, but I think he will be able to be in the squad for tomorrow."

The former Tottenham boss was also asked if he felt he has made his mark on this PSG team since arriving in January.

"I think there are many signs of identity that are transmitted based on who we are, and that goes for the coaching staff and the players," Pochettino added.

"Sometimes we speak about identity and philosophy without really knowing what those words mean. It is a very subjective area. I think the team is showing many positive signs. The things we like to see and what we have implemented in the team.

"When you join a club like Paris Saint-Germain as the coaching staff, some characteristics explain why the club would want you because they have seen things that you can transmit to the team. You can get the results that the team needs.

"I think the team has its identity and style of play. It has ideas, so we want to keep improving and helping the squad develop in every area of the game so that we can get the positive results we hope for."

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