Mauricio Pochettino is the biggest threat to Erik ten Hag's Manchester United job yet

Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag exchange words at Stamford Bridge
Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag exchange words at Stamford Bridge -Credit:Robin Jones/Getty Images

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag will not have been feeling secure in his job before 7pm on Tuesday evening but he will believe his position is under even more jeopardy now.

Mauricio Pochettino's departure from Chelsea is equal parts shocking as it is predictable. The Argentine had seemingly turned a corner towards the end of the season and their incredible run of form secured them a respectable sixth-place finish.

However, Todd Boehly is by no means the patient type and Pochettino's coy responses to questions surrounding his future hinted towards the writing being on the wall for the ex-PSG and Tottenham Hotspur man. Up until this point in the Ten Hag managerial saga, it seemed as though the options to replace him were too badly flawed.

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Kieran McKenna, Roberto De Zerbi and Gareth Southgate all had major black marks next to their names while Thomas Tuchel's reputation is in the balance after a mixed stint at Bayern Munich. However, Pochettino would be an appointment that most appeals to Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS.

In 2022, there were reports in France that Ratcliffe was attempting to lure Pochettino to join Nice and it is unsurprising too considering his work developing young players during his career. Ultimately, he would hold out for the Chelsea job but not before he came within a whisker of becoming Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's successor.

He was down to the final two with Ten Hag but the Glazers opted to go with the newer face rather than the older guard. Now momentum is beginning to circulate around Pochettino becoming the next United manager if the Dutchman is to be sacked.

Bookmakers Bet365 had Pochettino at 20/1 on Tuesday morning to become the next Old Trafford boss, now he is at evens. Truly, the South American is the biggest threat to Ten Hag's role and not just because of the previous interest in him.

Often we see a domino effect when a club decides to part ways with their manager and United's new co-owner may become twitchy regarding keeping Ten Hag after seeing what Chelsea are doing. There are no guarantees that sacking Ten Hag is the right course for the Reds to take but Pochettino's exit is another factor which will be playing on Ratcliffe's mind when he makes his final decision after the FA Cup final.