Although Ralf Rangnick has now been installed as the interim manager of Manchester United until the end of the season, current Paris Saint-Germain chief Mauricio Pochettino remains the bookmakers’ favourite to be the next permanent boss at Old Trafford.
The Argentinian is already said to have indicated his interest in taking up the role when Rangnick moves into a boardroom position in the summer. Life at PSG – where he seemingly plays second fiddle to sporting director Leonardo – is reportedly beginning to take its toll on the former Tottenham Hotspur boss.
Pochettino’s family is still based in England, while he resides in a Paris hotel. If the United job was to be offered, then a return to the Premier League would be tough for Pochettino to resist.
Should the Argentinian eventually take the reigns at United, he will inevitably cross paths with veteran top-flight official Mike Dean – a man he had quite the on-pitch confrontation with during his time as manager of Spurs.
Pochettino has a reputation for being mild-mannered in his approach, but once completely lost his head with referee Dean after his Spurs side lost a crucial Premier League encounter with Burnley in February 2019.
In an act that was completely out of character, Pochettino stormed on to the pitch and squared up to the official following Tottenham’s 2-1 defeat at Turf Moor.
The source of his rage? The corner that led to Chris Wood’s opening goal, which Pochettino believed should actually have been a goal-kick.
The loss was a massive blow to Tottenham’s title ambitions for the season – and per talkSPORT – an incensed Pochettino wasted no time confronting Dean after the match.
“You know what you did!” Pochettino repeatedly shouted at the official while nose-to-nose with him.
It took Burnley defender David Bardsley to eventually usher the Spurs boss away from the match officials.
Given Pochettino’s usually reserved nature, footage of the incident really is quite wild. You can check it out below.
Video: Mauricio Pochettino explodes at referee Mike Dean after Tottenham’s defeat to Burnley
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Pochettino’s decision to vent at Dean, however, was a costly one. The FA slapped him with a £10,000 fine and a two-game touchline ban – a ruling that the man himself would later describe as “unfair”.
PSG still appear keen to keep hold of Pochettino but, if he does return to the English top-flight with Manchester United, it will be interesting to watch how he interacts with Dean whenever the 53-year-old official is assigned a Red Devils match.
A repeat performance is highly unlikely, but knowing Mike Dean, he’d likely relish a similar confrontation.
Mauricio Pochettino to Man United? (Via The Football Terrace)