Mauricio Pochettino is the “outstanding candidate” to be the next permanent Manchester United manager following the departure of Jose Mourinho, according to Gary Neville.
Mourinho left United on Tuesday with the club sixth in the Premier League table and 19 points behind leaders Liverpool following their 3-1 loss at Anfield at the weekend. The club said in a statement that a caretaker manager will be appointed until the end of the season while they conduct “a thorough recruitment process for a new, full-time manager”. Neville, who spent his entire career at Old Trafford and won eight league titles, believes United should hire current Tottenham boss Pochettino. “I said last season that, for me, the next manager of Manchester United should be Mauricio Pochettino and not just because he’s done a good job,” he told Sky Sports. “When I look at the values of Manchester United, you look at Mauricio Pochettino’s belief in young players at Southampton and with Tottenham, you look at his performance levels, his style of play, the way in which he carries himself at all times publicly and in private. “I’ve been fortunate to spend two or three days at Tottenham’s training ground and, for me, he just feels like an ideal candidate. “Manchester United have tried managers who have won the European Cup, they have tried managers who have won leagues, they have tried managers who have had that solid grounding in the Premier League. “My view is they need someone who meets three key principles of that football club; the promotion of youth, entertaining football and to win football matches. “I do think he is the outstanding candidate.” Mourinho has departed United after two and a half years with the club, and Neville thinks the writing was on the wall before the start of the 2018-19 season when he failed to land a new centre-back in the previous transfer window. Harry Maguire, Jerome Boateng and Diego Godin were all linked with United, but the window closed without Mourinho landing one of his preferred defensive targets. “The sacking of Jose Mourinho is a result of what happened last summer,” Neville added. “When Jose came back the first day of the pre-season tour and started making complaints in the media, you knew that this was going to rumble on. “It played out all the way through the transfer window and a consequence of not backing your manager, or not going against your manager on one or two signings, it never ends well.”