Paris Saint-Germain and Mauricio Pochettino are nearing an understanding that will see the Argentine depart Parc des Princes at the end of the season, 90min has learned.
Pochettino arrived at PSG in January 2021, and was an initially popular appointment due to his two-year stint in the French capital during his playing career. However, failure to win Ligue 1 in his first season added inevitable pressure.
While the team are 11 points clear after 22 games this season, Pochettino's spell in Paris continues to look an unhappy one. His side are struggling for identity on the pitch, difficult relationships behind the scenes are causing strain and a recent defeat to Nice saw their defence of the French Cup end.
Lionel Messi's integration since signing from Barcelona last summer has been a challenge too.
Pochettino's flirtation with other clubs during his spell has indicated his unhappiness throughout, and inevitable links with Manchester United surfaced again following the dismissal of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November.
The 49-year-old's name has once again been discussed at the highest levels within the corridors of power Old Trafford, and we understand that he remains firmly at the centre of conversations about a new manager.
PSG did not entertain allowing Pochettino to leave mid-season following Solskjaer's sacking, and that was made clear to United at the time. United instead went with current incumbent Ralf Rangnick, who is set to leave the position of interim at the end of the season and move into a consultancy role, as it stands. United are looking to make a decision on a long-term appointment before next season.
PSG have been clear in not wanting to lose Pochettino in the middle of the current campaign, but that has not stopped concerns growing - and they are believed to have already consolidated plans for the future centred around former Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane.
French sources have indicated their belief that a deal to bring Zidane to Paris is all but agreed, though Zidane's preference to wait until the season ends is also clear.
With that in mind, as well as the mounting pressures, we are told that PSG and Pochettino are close to an agreement that will see him depart on terms they are both happy with.
Pochettino currently has a deal to 2023 with PSG, after they took up a 12-month extension in the summer following an approach from former club Tottenham. But Pochettino is keen to ensure he wins the Ligue 1 title before he leaves the club given past criticism he's received in failing to win major trophies.
Ed Woodward departed as United chief executive earlier this season, but made it clear the qualities which the next United manager should have - with silverware in the bank being potentially crucial, as well as a record of playing attractive football and developing youngsters.
Ajax’s Erik ten Hag has a number of fans among the decision makers at the club, whist Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers also has supporters.
Source : 90min