The Argentine was consistently linked with the Red Devils job, but the Old Trafford club handed the role to their former striker

Manchester United should have pursued Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino for longer when replacing Jose Mourinho, according to former Spurs midfielder Darren Anderton.

United were repeatedly linked with an approach for Pochettino after they sacked Mourinho in December following a string of poor results, but they ultimately decided to give caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the role full time.

Solskjaer oversaw a dramatic slump in form following his permanent appointment and is planning a summer overhaul of his squad, however, Anderton believes the more experienced Pochettino would have been better equipped for the challenge that lies in store at Old Trafford.

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Anderton told Sportingbet: “Man United were too quick to hire Solskjaer and Pochettino would have been better suited to handle the task that’s at hand at the club. I’m glad they hired Solskjaer as it meant the Pochettino rumour went away, but United seemed to have rushed the decision.

“He came in and got off to a great start, but when you look at where they are at now, it almost looks as if the players decided to work that little bit harder over that period of time and then almost gave up. Also, if you look back at their unbeaten run, those were probably games that they should have been winning anyway.

“At the start, he came in and gave the whole club that freedom to go and express themselves and the chance to move away from the blame culture experienced under Mourinho, but now his lack of experience in management is really showing. If Solskjaer is able to recruit the players that he wants over the summer, they have a good chance of achieving success next season.”

If Spurs were to win the Champions League, there is a genuine fear for the club’s fans that Pochettino will leave and that is a concern chairman Daniel Levy should be heeding, according to Anderton.

“Pochettino’s threat to leave Tottenham if they win the Champions League is a real one and Levy should be taking it very seriously,” said Anderton. “This would be a massive blow to the club and I don’t think that Pochettino is playing mind games with Daniel Levy, I think the concern is genuine.

“He is telling Levy not to take what he has done for granted and that without heavy investment, it will be an impossible task to stay at the desired level. You’d like to think that if Tottenham win the Champions League, he will stick around to build on his success. However, he is a man in demand, and there will always be a queue of clubs ready to give him what he wants.

“The problem is that Tottenham are never going to be able to afford the £400,000 – £500,000 a week contracts that the top players expect. It just doesn’t work in accordance with the way that the club is run. The reality is, though, in order to stay competitive, there needs to be investment in the squad.”

Tottenham take on Liverpool in the Champions League final in Madrid next week, making it the first all English final since Manchester United beat Chelsea in 2008.

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