Manchester United have reportedly been dealt a major blow in their pursuit of a new permanent manager ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.
Earlier this week, it was claimed the Red Devils will open talks with four candidates for their vacant managerial position in the coming weeks after finalising a shortlist of candidates.
According to The Athletic, Paris Saint-Germain's Mauricio Pochettino is the leading contender for the role.
However, United could be set for some serious competition for their reported top managerial target.
Per the Daily Mail, Real Madrid are ready to pursue the Argentine head coach, who is expected to leave the French giants at the end of the 2021/22 campaign.
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Both Los Blancos and Tottenham Hotspur reportedly failed to prise the manager away from PSG before this season began, and the Spanish club's hierarchy is believed to have set their sights on the 49-year-old once again as a replacement for Carlo Ancelotti.
The Italian manager has guided Real to the top of the LaLiga table, but his future at the Santiago Bernabeu is said to depend on how the team fares in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie against Les Parisiens on 9 March – Los Blancos lost the first leg 1-0.
As such, United are now in danger of losing out on Pochettino next season. If they do, they will have to set their sights on other reported managerial targets such as Erik ten Hag, Luis Enrique and Julen Lopetegui.
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