Mauricio Pochettino’s return to the Premier League accelerates as Manchester United continue their efforts to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
However, despite his experience at Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain, talkSPORT pundits Darren Bent and Danny Murphy doubt the Argentinian’s credentials and claim he is “not an elite manager”.
The 49-year-old is the big favorite for the revival at Old Trafford. talkSPORT understands that the former Spurs boss is “desperate” to trade PSG for Man United now, and not this summer as some reports suggest.
And club legend Sir Alex Ferguson is personally leading the charge to bring him in.
The possibility of landing Pochettino emerged following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was sacked on Sunday after a 4-1 loss to Watford – the latest in a series of humiliating Premier League defeats.
As Man United try to lure the Argentinian to Old Trafford they have games to play and have placed former Solskjaer No.2 Michael Carrick in the driver’s seat and he hopes for a perfect start when he takes his team in Spain to face Villarreal in the Champions League, live on talkSPORT 2.
That said, while Pochettino arrives as many expect, talkSPORT’s Darren Bent is not convinced the former Tottenham manager has what it takes to be successful at Old Trafford.
“I still don’t think he’s an elite manager,” former Spurs forward Bent told talkSPORT Breakfast.
“I’m totally behind what Danny Murphy said, in regards to the fact that he’s yet to be proven to be an elite manager working with elite players.
“He still hasn’t found a way to have Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in the squad consistently and play well.
“Even if he arrived at the halfway point last season, he still managed to lose the French championship.
“I look for example Thomas Tuchel [Chelsea manager], now Thomas Tuchel, I think, is an elite manager.
“I remember people calling the station and saying he wasn’t an elite coach, all he ever won was the French league and that doesn’t make him an elite trainer.
“He only became the elite once he took Chelsea to the Champions League, he is now one of the best managers in the world.
“I love Pochettino, what he did at Spurs was fantastic, he made average players and turned them into better players, he developed some of the young players there.
“Some of the performances that we saw from Spurs, the way they played, the press, it was really good to watch.
“As Danny said, he won the Coupe de France, he will win the French League but has not yet managed to convince me at the elite level.
“Can he go on and win the big big trophies, that’s why it’s a risk because he’s never been before.”
As mentioned, Bent’s words were echoed by former Liverpool midfielder Murphy who believes Pochettino still has a lot of work to do before he is considered one of the best managers in the world.
“For me, Pochettino is not the right one,” the talkSPORT expert told White and Jordan. “He is a manager who has not yet proven himself in a high level club by regularly winning things.
“He made Tottenham a competitive team by coaching the players well, making them better together, collectively and individually.
“Did a great job at Spurs with players who wanted to be coached, wanted to improve.
“He will come in [at Man United] as he is at PSG where he struggled a bit to be fair, let’s be honest.
“He has yet to show that he can deal with top quality and top class international players over a period of time and win things.”
Instead, Murphy believes Brendan Rodgers is a better candidate for the job at United, with the Leicester City boss being another top contender, saying his experiences at ‘massive clubs’ Liverpool and Celtic place him better in place to take over at Old Trafford.
“I think I would prefer Brendan Rodgers to Pocehttino,” said the former Reds star.
“I think the experience at Liverpool, let’s remember how he created that front line and changed it midway through the season to make them title contenders.
“But he’s been at a big club and understands the expectations. I know he’s at PSG and he was at Tottenham, and they’re big clubs, but it’s not the same as Liverpool and Manchester United.
“He has that little extra experience.”