Mauricio Pochettino plays unlikely role in Man Utd’s transfer pursuit of Erling Haaland

Ralf Rangnick praises reaction of Man Utd after Burnley win

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While Mauricio Pochettino remains one of the favourites to become permanent Manchester United boss next season, the Paris Saint-Germain coach could inadvertently boost summer transfer plans at Old Trafford.

Pochettino was heavily linked with the United manager’s job when it became vacant following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking.

But the Reds Devils opted for a short-term approach until the end of the season by appointing German tactician Ralf Rangnick. 

There is still every chance Pochettino could take charge once Rangnick’s interim role in the hot seat ends in the summer.

And the Argentine could make himself immediately popular with United supporters by sparking a chain of transfers that could lead to an increased chance of superstar Erling Haaland ending up in Manchester.

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PSG are 13 points clear in Ligue 1 and are cruising towards the French title, but the unfavoured Mauro Icardi could be sold in January. 

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Icardi is waiting on a substantial offer from Juventus to seal a transfer from Paris to Turin. 

The forward wants to make his return to Serie A after previously starring at Inter Milan, and a move would free loanee Alvaro Morata to make his rumoured switch to Barcelona.

AS report Juve will allow Morata to end his loan stay should they find a replacement, and the Spaniard looks destined to link up with new Barca boss Xavi at the Nou Camp.

Morata’s parent club Atletico Madrid are said to be willing to sanction the loan move to their rival, which could be completed imminently and involve an option to buy.

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It is claimed Xavi believes 29-year-old Morata is still one of the best strikers in world football and the legendary former midfielder wants to build his team around the former Chelsea man. 

The AS report adds Morata’s arrival would hinder a possible pursuit for Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland. 

Of course, cash-strapped Barca are hardly the favourites to sign arguably the world’s most coveted player, but the Catalan giants are believed to hold a genuine interest.

And their likely move for Morata leaves United competing with one less elite European club in the race for his signature. 

Haaland’s £68m release clause comes into effect next year and all the ambitious top clubs will surely be queuing up in pursuit.

United are one of the clubs already targeting Haaland and the Norwegian striker is the brightest young talent across Europe. 

The Red Devils currently boast two of the finest goalscorers in a generation in Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani.

But both are entering the final stages of their careers and Cavani is likely to move on this summer. 

Haaland represents the present and the future and United are unlikely to allow the Norwegian to sign for another club from Dortmund without a fight.

And if they do pull off a stunning swoop for Haaland, they could have Pochettino to thank for starting a European striker transfer merry-go-round.

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