Mauricio Pochettino has said he is happy as Paris Saint-Germain coach, but that football is about “today, not tomorrow,” in response to speculation linking him with a move to Manchester United as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s successor.
Sources have told ESPN that the former Tottenham manager is the favoured candidate to replace Solskjaer among the United hierarchy, who have been made aware of the Argentine’s willingness to consider the position.
Pochettino was the leading candidate to succeed Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford in December 2018 prior to Solskjaer being appointed permanently after impressing during an initial spell as interim manager.
But speaking in Manchester ahead of PSG’s Champions League Group A clash with Manchester City at the Etihad, Pochettino said it would be a “mistake to talk” about the United job while under contract at PSG.
“I am very focused on football,” Pochettino said. “I am not a kid, I’m not a child, I spent my whole life playing football and now 12 years being a coach, we are in a business and the rumours are there.
“I completely understand what is going on — sometimes it is a positive or sometimes negative, but this kind of thing cannot distract me. What another club is doing not my business and I am not going to make the mistake to talk. Things get misunderstood and out of context.
“Rumours, we live with that. We are focused and trying to give 100% for the club and players to help their performances,
“I am happy at PSG and so focused on trying to get the best result we possibly can against City.
“But football is today. It is not tomorrow. The club need to plan, we need to plan, thinking about what is happening tomorrow. But it is all about the result.
“When we left Tottenham two years ago, a month earlier we were linked with another club, but it is results and today that matters.
“The results are really important in football today and the future. You need to build the way you want to play, with entertainment, but in the end, it is about winning.”
Pochettino’s relationship with former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson — the two men met for lunch while United were searching for a replacement for Louis van Gaal in May 2016 — is regarded as giving United a possible edge in any attempt to hire the 49-year-old.
But Pochettino stopped short of discussing his admiration for Ferguson in an attempt to avoid fuelling speculation about the United job.
“I think we cannot talk about that [Ferguson] out of respect to my club and another club,” Pochettino added. “What that club is doing is not my problem, I must be focused in PSG.
“In the past when I was at Espanyol, my dream was to meet Ferguson. But things I say now may be misunderstood and taken out of context.
“I was a player at PSG, I love the club, and love the fans. It is an exciting time to be at the club, fighting for Ligue 1 and the Champions League.
“We need to be focused on that and that is my responsibility. My contract is until 2023. I don’t say nothing different. I am really happy in PSG, that’s a fact.”