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PSG in contact with Zinedine Zidane as Manchester United consider Mauricio Pochettino

The Independent
The Independent
 2021-11-23

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Paris Saint-Germain have been in contact with Zinedine Zidane and coaches including Antonio Conte in the last few months in preparation for the possibility of losing Mauricio Pochettino to Manchester United before the end of the season.

Pochettino, who was appointed by PSG in January, has leapt to the top of United's list of targets following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after it was made clear to them that he would be interested in making the deal happen and soon.

While there had been a perception that PSG would be reluctant to let Pochettino leave, The Independent has been told that all parties have been viewing the current arrangement as temporary. The Qatari-owned club have naturally kept options open after failing to win the French title last year, but Pochettino himself has found aspects of the club so difficult to manage that he looked into leaving in the summer. A return to Tottenham Hotspur was at one point seen as a strong possibility.

PSG have consequently kept dialogue open with a few top managers. They included Didier Deschamps, Conte – before he moved to Spurs – and Zidane.

Zidane has been wanted by United, but most view any move as impossible for a variety of reasons. His family don't want him to take a job in England, he would have to improve his English and – most of all – he would prefer to bide his time for a role with PSG or the French national team.

Sources close to Zidane in Madrid maintain that there could yet be a situation that keeps everyone happy, with Zidane going to PSG, and Pochettino moving to Old Trafford. While that had been a possibility raised for the end of the season, figures involved increasingly thing it could be something that happens sooner. Much will depend on United's own will, and whether they are sufficiently attracted by Pochettino to try and get him now or in the French mid-season break at the end of December.

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