Leonardo: Poch staying at PSG; ‘he never asked to leave’

Mauricio Pochettino has “never asked to leave” Paris Saint-Germain, despite speculation linking the coach with Manchester United, says the French club’s sporting director Leonardo.

Pochettino is the first choice among the United hierarchy to become manager at Old Trafford next summer as the club near the interim appointment of Ralf Rangnick until the end of the season.

The Argentine, linked with a return to former club Tottenham in the summer, said in midweek he is “so happy” at the French Ligue 1 leaders amid reports he could be persuaded to leave mid-season.

“I think it’s important to clarify the situation given the amount of false information circulating. Mauricio Pochettino is under contract with the club until 2023,” Leonardo told AFP.

“We do not want Pochettino to leave. He never asked to leave and no club contacted us in relation to him.”

It has also been reported in France this week that PSG have held talks with Zinedine Zidane, who resigned as Real Madrid boss in May, however, Leonardo has also dismissed such suggestions.

“We have a lot of respect for Zinedine Zidane, for what he did as a player and coach, but I can tell you very clearly that there is no contact and that no meeting with him has taken place.

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“It’s ridiculous to imagine that a meeting with Zinedine Zidane could have taken place in a big hotel in Paris in front of the eyes of everyone.”

Pochettino was appointed head coach at PSG in January on an initial deal until June 2022, but the French club extended the contract by a further 12 months in the summer.

PSG, who finished second in Ligue 1 last season, lead the French top-flight by 11 points and have qualified for the last-16 of the Champions League with one game to spare.

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