Report: Manchester United Want Mauricio Pochettino If Jose Mourinho Is Sacked

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistNovember 13, 2018

Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho (L) shakes hands with Tottenham Hotspur's Argentinian head coach Mauricio Pochettino (R) on the touchline towards the end of the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on August 27, 2018. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Manchester United will reportedly pursue Tottenham Hotspur coach Mauricio Pochettino if they decide to part company with manager Jose Mourinho.

Neil Ashton of The Sun reported Mourinho could lose his job if the Red Devils fail to qualify for next season's UEFA Champions League, and Pochettino is United's favoured replacement. The Spurs boss signed a new deal with the north London giants last summer and has led his team this term to their joint-best start in the Premier League.

United have been in trouble since pre-season, with poor form and injuries hampering Mourinho's ambitions to compete with English champions Manchester City.

The Old Trafford giants reside eighth in the Premier League below Bournemouth and Watford.

Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho gestures towards the public at the end of the UEFA Champions League group H football match Juventus vs Manchester United at the Allianz stadium in Turin on November 7, 2018. (Photo by Isabella BONOTTO /

A shock last-minute victory at Juventus in the UEFA Champions League last week has been the high point of the season so far for United and Mourinho, but this was immediately followed by a lacklustre 3-1 defeat at league-leading City in the Premier League on Sunday.

Per Ashton, Mourinho has reportedly told associates everything at United is "second-rate," with the manager critical of the club's scouting system and the Red Devils' ability to negotiate with transfer targets. Mourinho reportedly believes United have been left behind by their neighbours due to the way the club is run.

Pochettino has brought consistency to Spurs since arriving from Southampton in 2014, with the Argentinian manager developing Harry Kane, Deli Alli and Christian Eriksen into world-class talents.

Football writer and broadcaster Daniel Storey highlighted the Pochettino effect in the capital:

Daniel Storey @danielstorey85

Premier League away points over the last nine months: Tottenham - 34 Man City - 29 Chelsea - 22 Liverpool - 22 Man United - 20 Emphasises the outrageously good job Mauricio Pochettino is doing.

Mourinho has failed to build a robust squad during his two-year spell in charge at the Theatre of Dreams, and his starting XI is not significantly better than former boss Louis van Gaal's side.

A second-placed finish to City in the Premier League last term was supposed to give United a platform to improve this season, but the club's fortunes have gone backwards and confidence has spiralled amongst supporters in the Stretford End.

Pochettino would be the perfect replacement for Mourinho. The 46-year-old is young, intelligent and progressive, and he builds his squads from the foundations upwards. He is the polar opposite of the current United coach and would bring verve back to a setup that desperately needs it.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 06: head coach Mauricio Pochettino of Tottenham looks on during the Group B match of the UEFA Champions League between Tottenham Hotspur and PSV at Wembley Stadium on November 6, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by TF-Imag
TF-Images/Getty Images

United fans are crying out for improvements, and the club's lack of investment in the summer has been widely criticised.

Mourinho's preference for physical football has not worked, and the time for change could be on its way as the United board consider its options over the coming months.

The Portuguese still holds his destiny in his hands, but performances and results must rapidly improve if the 55-year-old is to survive another campaign.