Paris Saint-Germain demanded £17m from Man Utd after the Premier League club approached them about the possibility of appointing Mauricio Pochettino, according to reports in France.
Before the Red Devils announced Ralf Rangnick as their new interim manager on Monday there were rumours that Pochettino could be appointed sooner than expected.
The Argentine is the favourite to ultimately succeed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the next permanent Man Utd boss but the Premier League outfit reportedly found it unrealistic to bring him to Old Trafford mid-season.
A report on Thursday claimed that Man Utd had an approach rebuffed by the French giants with the onus ‘on Pochettino to inform his present employers he wishes to have his employment terminated’.
However, that didn’t happen, with Pochettino publicly stating that he was happy at PSG while not totally rule out a move to Old Trafford in the future.
Zinedine Zidane was reportedly the manager that PSG were lining up to replace Pochettino if he had decided to leave for Man Utd.
But PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said yesterday that the former Tottenham boss is “very happy” at the club and insisted they’ve had “zero contact” with Zidane.
French news outlet Telefoot (via the Daily Mail) see it differently, though, claiming that PSG were prepared to allow Pochettino to join the Red Devils but on two conditions.
Firstly, they wanted £17m from Man Utd to buy him out his current contract – which has another 18 months or so to run – and secondly, they need assurances from Zidane that he was ready to step into Pochettino’s shoes.
Meanwhile, former Liverpool midfielder Graeme Souness has doubted that Rangnick is the type of manager that Man Utd need right now.
“This is the third interim manager since Fergie went. I don’t get it,” Souness told talkSPORT.
“The man Rangnick’s CV is not one you would go ‘wow’ and doesn’t jump out at you. He’s not been super successful. I think he’s won one trophy.
“His talent would appear, and we will find out, to go into a football club and develop the structure and improve in a five to ten year period.
“That’s not what Man United need right now. Man United need it instantly. They need someone to make an impact now.
“They’ve got a healthy group of players there and, there’s no doubt about it, Ole didn’t get the best out of that group of players.
“That’s what you are judged on. You walk into a football club, get the best out of the players and then if you are there long enough you can bring your own ones in to kick on.
“Right now, Manchester United have an underperforming squad of players.
“Will this new guy, who has never been in the Premier League be able to do that? I don’t think so.
“I don’t get this appointment on any level. If you are thinking about five or ten years time and the structures he might put in place [okay], [but it’s] six months and then he’s going to take a nice consultancy role. A nice pension for him, 63 years old, it’s lovely work if you can get it.”