Inside Mauricio Pochettino’s lunch with Sir Alex Ferguson as ex-Chelsea boss linked with sensational Man Utd switch

MAURICIO POCHETTINO can dine out on the ultimate Old Trafford endorsement – amid new links to the Manchester United job.

The ousted Chelsea chief lunched with Sir Alex Ferguson in London after a glowing tribute from the legendary ex-United manager.

Ferguson has voiced his admiration for Pochettino’s managerial skillsCredit: Getty

The pair met for lunch when Pochettino was Spurs bossCredit: Getty

That meet-up in May 2016 raised eyebrows – as Pochettino’s reputation was at its high point midway through his five-year stint at Tottenham.

Not only that, then Red Devils boss, Louis van Gaal, was under pressure – approaching, as it turned out, the end of a troubled two-year reign.

But Spurs stressed they had no issues with Poch getting together with Fergie – because it was, so to speak, all above board.

At the time, Tottenham told Sky Sports News they were fully aware the meal would take place.

Pochettino and assistant boss Jesus Perez were pictured smiling and looking relaxed as they met Ferguson.

And in many ways it was a similar scenario for the Red Devils as now.

Back then, Van Gaal was struggling at Old Trafford – just like fellow Dutchman Erik ten Hag appears to be now.

Meanwhile, Fergie had a long-running mutual respect with Pochettino, nurtured by their conversations at League Managers Association dinners.

Erik ten Hag is far from certain to stay Man Utd managerCredit: Getty

It’s also understood the Scot would have preferred Poch when the Argentinian lost out to Ten Tag for the United role in April 2022.

Eight years ago, Poch took training before dining with Ferguson at Scott’s restaurant in Mayfair and returning to Spurs in the afternoon.

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Just two months before the get-together, Fergie said of the Argentinian: “The manager has been fantastic.

“They have a bad record of managers, there is no doubt about that. They have had so many over the years.

“But this lad has composure. You never see him ruffled and the way his team play is a testimony to the work he is doing.”

However, just months after Pochettino guided Tottenham to the Champions League final, club supremo Daniel Levy axed him.

After that, he had a so-so 18 months in charge of Paris Saint-Germain, albeit still winning Ligue 1 and the French Cup once apiece.

And his 11 months with Chelsea ended by mutual consent on Tuesday, despite five straight wins securing sixth spot in the Premier League.

Now Poch might hope a look back at his own Fergie Time from 2016 can raise his chances of a switch to the Theatre of Dreams.

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