Mauricio Pochettino ‘shocked Man Utd appointed Erik ten Hag and wasn’t informed’

Mauricio Pochettino was reportedly left shocked by Manchester United’s appointment of Erik ten Hag.

United confirmed Ten Hag as their new manager on a three-year-deal on Thursday morning with the option of an additional year. It was widely reported that the Dutchman had competed for the role with Paris Saint-Germain boss Pochettino before being offered the job at the end of the season.

But The Athletic claims Pochettino was caught by surprise at the decision to appoint the Ajax manager, having not been notified by the Red Devils. That was despite United having initially planned to inform the Argentine directly before the announcement.

Pochettino found the news ‘awkward’ after initially feeling ‘confident’ he would be appointed. The PSG manager’s representatives had held talks with Matt Judge over potential contract details as early as this month.

The Athletic reports that Pochettino was even gathering information about living in Manchester, United’s structure and the personality of various players. And the ex-Spurs boss had felt confident due to his relationship with the club’s former executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, who he first met back in 2018.

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It is understood Pochettino’s interview over Zoom did not go as well as Ten Hag’s, with the Argentine having detailed how much it would cost to overhaul the current squad. His substantial release fee from PSG may have been a deterring factor as United had to pay close to £10million in comparison to the £2million required to bring Ten Hag to Old Trafford.

The new United boss apparently made a great impression when technical director Darren Fletcher and football director John Murtough flew out to the Netherlands to interview him last month. Ten Hag brutally slammed United’s set-up, directing his criticism at the club’s scouting and recruitment in a refreshing display of honesty.

ESPN claim the other candidates on United’s four-man shortlist were Spain boss Luis Enrique and Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui.

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