Football

Jose Mourinho was behind Mauricio Pochettino..

Jose Mourinho was not Manchester United's first choice, claims Jermaine Jenas

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By the time Jose Mourinho was officially confirmed as Manchester United's new manager, the footballing world sighed in relief as the worst kept secret in the game was finally revealed.

Indeed, the Portuguese had long been linked with a move to Old Trafford with it believed that talks between him and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward started as early as January.

And, having sacked Louis van Gaal, he was clearly the obvious choice. Despite a dramatic downfall at Chelsea, Mourinho remained the most reputable manager out of work and the early signs are that Woodward has made the right decision.

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He has already convinced two mega stars in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba to join him while two convincing wins in two Premier League games has got fans dreaming of a 14th Premier League title.

However, according to one BBC pundit, Mourinho would never have got the chance to take charge of his dream club had Mauricio Pochettino responded to their advances first.

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Jermaine Jenas, who appeared to be speaking on instinct rather than source information, claimed on BBC Radio 5 Live that the Tottenham manager was '100%' the first choice for United and Mourinho was only approached after he extended his White Hart Lane contract.

First choice

"If Pochettino would've been available he was Manchester United's first choice, 100 per cent," he said on live radio. "I think they would've taken him over Mourinho all day long."

You can listen to his claims by scrolling to 43.55 or by clicking here.

Manchester United v Southampton - Premier League

The reports

Having turned Tottenham into title contenders, Pochettino is certainly set for one of Europe's biggest clubs at some point in his career and Jenas' claim is far from ludicrous.

Indeed, The Sun claimed as far back as February that the former Southampton manager was ahead of Mourinho in the race for Van Gaal's position. There were, at the time, serious concerns that the Special One would change Manchester United's values beyond recognition with Pochettino the preferred choice of the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson.

The sight of Ferguson and Pochettino having dinner together only increased speculation. However, his decision to extend his contract with Tottenham drew a line under any speculation and Pochettino insisted he planned to see them into their new stadium.

Manchester United v Southampton - Premier League

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Topics:
Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
Mauricio Pochettino
Tottenham Hotspur
Football
Premier League
Jose Mourinho

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