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Mauricio Pochettino will have to wait at least six months to land his dream job as Manchester United boss.
Pochettino is keen to leave Paris Saint Germain and replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford after becoming unsettled in the French capital.
But United will spend the next few weeks finding an interim boss instead – and will not begin the process of targeting a permanent manager until the New Year.
United have not made an approach to PSG – and it means Pochettino's hopes of making a sensational return to English football will have to be put on hold until next summer.
United have spoken to a number of interim candidates, including former Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde and Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui.
Club bosses are planning talks with more targets and would prefer to appoint someone currently out of work, due to the logistics surrounding contractual issues.
United want someone in place by mid-December ideally, ahead of the busy run of Festive fixtures, but also appreciate the schedule will be so packed it will be difficult for the new man to make significant changes from the off.
And whoever is appointed will be handed a short term deal until the end of the season that includes the incentive of huge bonuses for winning the Champions League and securing a top four finish.
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United's hierarchy are keen to find someone who can bring a period of stability to the team, following a woeful campaign so far that has left the fallen giants languishing in eighth in the table, 12 points behind leaders Chelsea.
Club bosses will then focus on finding an elite manager ahead of next season, with Pochettino and Brendan Rodgers the two main targets
United face a tough trip to Chelsea this weekend before starting a run of winnable games that include clashes with Arsenal, Norwich, Brentford, Brighton and Newcastle.
Caretaker boss Michael Carrick, who engineered a crucial 2-0 win at Villarreal in the Champions League on Tuesday, has the full backing of the board to remain in charge for as long as it takes – and will return to the coaching staff once an interim has been named.
- Mauricio Pochettino
- Manchester United FC
- PSG FC
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