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Next Manchester United manager: Why does Mauricio Pochettino want to leave PSG?

Mauricio Pochettino, Kylian Mbappe, PSG
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mauricio Pochettino is one of the favourites to take over as next Manchester United manager, despite being just 10 months into his contract at PSG.

While his side were pipped to the Ligue 1 title by Lille last season, Pochettino did lift the Coupe de France, the first silverware of his managerial career.

PSG now sit 11 points clear at the top top of the table in the French top flight, and an already enviable attacking line of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe saw the addition of Lionel Messi this summer. The Argentinian coach will almost certainly win his first league title in May, and Les Parisiens are also third-favourites to bring home the Champions League.

But Poch is apparently ready to jump at the chance of taking on the Old Trafford gig.

So... what gives?

Here, FourFourTwo rounds up some of the reasons he might want to leave PSG:

Underachievement and unconvincing performances

It's not exactly clicking in Paris.

Pochettino took over PSG 17 games into the 2020/21 Ligue 1 season, and with the team one point off top spot, having lost four games to that point. At the end of the season, PSG were one point off the top spot, having lost a further four games.

It was only the second time in the last nine years the Paris side have failed to win the title – and with the squad budget they have, even that is an underachievement.

They also lost both legs of the Champions League semi-final to Manchester City – a step back from the previous year's loss in the final.

Corralling good performances week-in, week-out out of some of the world's biggest stars is not really one of Pochettino's strengths – especially when some of the French league opponents throw up less-than-glamorous fixtures (Lorient, anyone?).

And while he is known for stylish football – and has very stylish footballers at his disposal – some of PSG's performances have been far from attractive even when winning. 

It all adds up to make some wonder if the match-up is working.

Troubles with Messi

Most managers would be rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of signing Lionel Messi, but for Pochettino it may have been a bit of a pain: here was another undroppable star to add to a team that already has plenty.

His preference is towards more of a team approach, and that is proving difficult at PSG – Messi certainly didn't look happy the first time he was substituted...

He likes a project

Pochettino enjoyed his five years at Tottenham so much that he was almost enticed back there this summer.

What he really seems to like is building a team and blooding through youngsters – something he did at Espanyol, Southampton and Spurs.

PSG don't chop and change managers as much as some other teams, but they don't seem to be looking for a coach to instil a long-term vision for the club. 

His family is in England

Pochettino spent six years in England with Southampton and Tottenham, and his wife still lives in their family home in London, while his son Maurizio plays for Watford. Paris to London journeys aren't the worst, but it's clear the family still has a strong connection to the country.

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