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Mauricio Pochettino leads the shortlist for Manchester United job

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino

Bengaluru, October 5: Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino is Ed Woodward’s preferred choice over Zinedine Zidane to replace Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.

The Red Devils’ vice executive-chairman faces a huge task in making a decision over the manager’s job as the Portuguese Mourinho has overseen the club’s worst start to a season.

Reports claim that anything but a victory over Newcastle on Saturday (October 6) will lead to Mourinho being axed.

And, the English media are reporting that Tottenham boss Pochettino is the man who Woodward wants to turn to and not Zinedine Zidane who was thought to be favourite for the job initially.

Ex-Real Madrid manager Zidane, who called Mourinho to reassure him he was not already in talks with Manchester United, was considered as the favourite for the job.

The French legend is a free agent following his exit from the Bernabeu in May just days after leading the Galacticos to a third-successive Champions League crown.

However, despite his availability, Woodward is allegedly leaning towards a swoop for Argentine Pochettino with United’s board supposedly having doubts over Zidane.

They feel the circumstances in Madrid were entirely different to Old Trafford, with the 1998 World Cup winner already having a star-studded squad to work with after replacing Rafa Benitez in January 2016.

A number of Manchester United players, and arguably their two biggest stars Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez, are struggling for form and Pochettino is someone who could do better with an underwhelming squad as per Woodward.

Pochettino has done more than a decent job managing weaker sides like Espanyol, Southampton and under him only, Spurs have become a stronger force in England and a regular in top four too.

Any move for Pochettino would be fiercely fought off by Spurs, who gave him a pay rise and a new contract just this summer.

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    Story first published: Friday, October 5, 2018, 10:35 [IST]
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