Thomas Tuchel has surpassed Mauricio Pochettino as Manchester United’s preferred candidate for the position of permanent manager.
And, rather than waiting until the summer, United CEO Richard Arnold wants to appoint Tuchel before the end of the season. Pochettino has long been United’s favored option to succeed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was fired in November, and the Argentine enjoyed Sir Alex Ferguson’s endorsement.
However, the developing troubles at Chelsea, where owner Roman Abramovich attempted to sell the club but now has his assets frozen due to his strong ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, have given United genuine hope that Tuchel is now available and can be persuaded to Old Trafford.
The future of Germany has become increasingly uncertain, prompting a significant shift in the United board’s thinking when it comes to naming the next manager.
While Pochettino’s failure to get Paris Saint-Germain past the Champions League last-16 hasn’t helped his cause, United recognizes that his club’s European woes began long before he arrived in the French city.
However, there is a growing fear that Pochettino’s lack of major trophy wins makes him a less appealing option than Thomas Tuchel, who won the Champions League in just six months after taking over at Chelsea.
United has also been impressed by Tuchel’s handling of the mounting challenges of coping with his London club’s present situation.
Chelsea’s potential purchasers must declare their interest in the club by the end of this week, and a new owner may opt to change the manager. Tuchel has a contract until 2024 at Stamford Bridge, but United knows that a big compensation package would be difficult for the cash-strapped club to refuse now.
United’s failure to finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League could be a stumbling block. United is currently in fifth place, one point behind Arsenal, despite having played three games more than the Gunners.
Ralf Rangnick was brought in on a temporary basis, although only as a stopgap solution, and will be promoted to director at the end of the season.