Wayne Rooney says that Mauricio Pochettino would be his next choice as Manchester United manager as long as he was given time to develop his blueprint for the club.
United are in the process of appointing a long-term successor to Ralf Rangnick. The German coach took up an interim role last November, but despite initially steadying the ship he has been unable to get United firing on all cylinders. That has put paid to the German’s chances of getting the job full-time – which he was open to.
Instead the United hierarchy have been interviewing candidates with Pochettino and Erik ten Hag in the running. The Telegraph also claim that a third mystery man has been spoken to.
A number of sources, including the Telegraph, has Ajax boss Ten Hag as the favourite, with Fabrizio Romano, claiming the Dutch coach wants involvement in the club’s transfers.
But while Ten Hag, 52, leads the way, Rooney has pinned his colours to the mast. And he thinks former Spurs boss Pochettino would be the correct pick.
After a season of disappointment, Rooney thinks that PSG boss Pochettino should be give time to turn things around.
“It’s been a strange season,” Rooney said on Sky Sports. “I’ve been to the ground to watch them live a few times and they look like a team of individuals. When they make a mistake it always looks very difficult for them to recover as a team.
Manchester United target Sporting Lisbon midfielder
Manchester United are being linked with Sporting Lisbon defensive midfielder Palhinha as they look to replace Nemanja Matic.
“I can look at it and say it hasn’t been good enough as we have that group of players they need to be doing better.
“They’re going through a tough time as a club. And I think what everyone wants is for them to get the manager situation sorted as soon as possible. And they have to rebuild for the next two or three years to make sure they’re challenging again.”
Rangnick has said it could take “two or three transfer windows” before United can challenge for the Premier League title again.
Rooney: United have to rebuild the squad
And Derby boss Rooney agrees: “Absolutely. For Manchester United not to be challenging, I think they’d want the season to stop now and forget about the Champions League. They’re not going to compete in the competition as it stands even if they qualified for it.
“They have to rebuild the squad and everything around the first team and the club to make sure they put themselves in a position in two or three years’ time where they can actually go and challenge again for the Premier League.”
And Rooney was clear who United should go for next: “I think Pochettino has done it in the Premier League.
“He knows the Premier League and at Tottenham he brought a lot of players through. He did it at Southampton as well.
“If I’m choosing from one of the two, that’s who I’d choose. He would need to be given time to place his blueprint on the club and on the team. If you give him time, I think he’d do well.”