Jamie Carragher has urged Mauricio Pochettino to leave Paris Saint-Germain and slammed Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar following their 2-1 defeat to Manchester City.
Pochettino has been earmarked by Manchester United as their preferred candidate to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was sacked on Sunday just 24 hours after United were thrashed 4-1 by Watford.
The ex- Tottenham boss found himself in Manchester on Wednesday night, but his richly-assembled side struggled to cope with City, who booked their spot in the Champions League knockout stages.
And former Liverpool defender Carragher encouraged Pochettino to do whatever he can to leave Paris after slating the work rate of PSG’s star-studded front three.
“Pochettino has to get out of the club. If he has the chance to go to Manchester United. I would be gone tomorrow and it’s because of those 3 stars,” said Carragher on CBS after the game.
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The pundit felt that Messi, Neymar and Mbappe’s reluctance to track back hampered PSG and played a huge part in City’s impressive turnaround.
And Carragher’s fellow CBS pundit, Arsenal legend Thierry Henry, shared Carragher’s stance; highlighting how the presence of that trio prevents Pochettino from setting his team up the way he’d like to at times.
“If you want to win the Champions League, you cannot defend with seven players,” said Henry.
“It is impossible, I don’t care who you are. The full backs are exposed, so it’s virtually a three vs one, three vs two on the pitch.
“Team that win titles – and the Champions League even more so – have their front-three facing the ball.
“That way the full backs will feel more comfortable with what’s going on behind them.
“But right now they’re too exposed. Teams in France cannot expose them, but Man City can.
“Pochettino is not allowed to be Pochettino at times with that team.
‘How do you take (Messi, Mbappe or Neymar) off? So he put Angel Di Maria in midfield – but he was exposed and not helping.”
According to reports this week, Pochettino is thought to be unhappy in the French capital despite attempting to distance himself from the United vacancy this week.
And it’s beginning to look more and more likely that United will have to wait to get their man, with PSG seemingly intent on keeping Pochettino at the Parc des Princes until at least the summer.
According to The MEN, United made a formal approach for the Argentine earlier this week; only for it to be rebuffed by PSG.
Ironically, it’s likely to be PSG’s performance in Europe that decides Pochettino’s fate.
With PSG already 11 points clear in Ligue 1, wrapping up the domestic title should be a formality for the French giants.
But the club hierarchy are desperate to finally clinch Europe’s top prize – with Pochettino tasked with bringing the Champions League to France.
With City topping Group A, PSG are likely to be handed a tougher draw in the round of 16 than they would have done had they topped the group.
And executives at Manchester United may be hoping for them to be handed a particularly tough draw given that an early exit from Europe could help facilitate Pochettino’s move to Manchester occurring ahead of schedule.