Indications have shown that the patience of the top hierarchy at Manchester United seemed to have worn off after reportedly contacting former Tottenham Hotspurs coach, Mauricio Pochettino as a potential replacement for the incumbent manager, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer.
This is coming after Solskjaer suffered his fourth defeat in 11 games – three in the Premier League and one in the Champions League.
Manchester United Evening News reported that the Red Devils contacted Pochettino’s representatives amid the team’s dismal form under Solskjaer. The media also claimed that Pochettino plans to take over the role in December and he seems optimistic about it.
According to inside sources, the Manchester United hierarchy were privately backing Solskjaer before suffering a 2-1 loss on Wednesday in the Champions League against Istanbul Basaksehir. Despite the shambolic performance, they are reluctant to part company with the Norwegian so early in the season.
Their position could however change if United lose at Everton on Saturday. That could put them in the 17th position in the Premier League table.
Having lost three of their six league games this term, United have not lost four of their first seven in a league campaign since 1989-90. This makes the trip to Everton a tricky one.
Solksjaer has one game to save his job at Manchester United or be replaced by Pochettino
The Everton result might be the decider for Man United hierarchy, as they will have some days to quickly make changes. This is usually the time some clubs sack their manager. Pochettino was a victim of this when he was sacked during the international break while at Spurs. Coincidentally, Mourinho who replaced him was sacked in December too at Man United.
So, he stands a chance of being a beneficiary here as he maintains an interest in the job.
The same people who said Solskjær was a genius after the 5-0 win against RB Leipzig now want him out.— Jan Aage Fjortoft 🏳️🌈 🇳🇴 (@JanAageFjortoft) November 5, 2020
RB Leipzig: 28th of October
Basaksehir: 4th of November
Solskjaer might still be giving himself confidence that his job is safe. But the football world is funny. There have been cases where managers are sure of their future and got sacked the next day..
While declining to comment on the sack rumour, it’s an obvious fact that the Norwegian is under immense pressure, which is what comes with the United job.
It remains unknown if the club management will still with the manager and allow him to carry on, no matter the result against the Toffees this weekend.
Having declared his intention to return to football management, getting the Manchester United job will be one of the good ways for Pochentino to announce his return.
“I am always ready to go again and be involved in the game,” Pochettino said. “It’s not stress when you are working, it’s not stress going into the training round to prepare the match and to compete.
“I hope to go back soon so we can start again to work. I am looking forward to being back in the game. I love this game but it’s difficult, we are inside and working on doing things. That’s the reality,” he stated during his appearance on Monday Night Football this week.
With this kind of comment, there might have been one talk or the other held with Pochettino and some clubs waiting to sack their managers. With Man United being the club on a bad run, it’s easy to link the Argentine to the job.
What Solksjaer stands to gain if he is sacked
Sacking Solkjaer will go with some financial benefit to the Norwegian. Solskjaer had in early December last year agreed a new contract with former club Molde.
This made the Norwegian side to be entitled to a compensation fee when Solskjaer moved to Manchester. Molde received two separate installments of £500,000 from United for Solskjaer’s caretaker and permanent manager appointments.
So, laying off Solksjaer will have to go with some compensation. Bringing in Pochentino too will get some cash if appointed as well.
Will Man United be able to do that during this pandemic that clubs are struggling? Time will tell.