Roberto Mancini has reportedly made a decision on Manchester United job after being contacted to take over in summer as replacement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Mancini has told Manchester United he is not prepared to leave his job as Italy head coach to become manager at Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was relieved of his duties on Sunday in the wake of United’s dismal 4-1 defeat to Watford, with the club suffering seven losses in 13 games under the Norwegian.
But United are seemingly no closer to finding a permanent replacement for Solskjaer and Michael Carrick has been placed in charge on an interim basis, overseeing the side’s 2-0 win away to Villarreal in the Champions League last night.
The likes of Zinedine Zidane, Brendan Rodgers, Ralf Rangnick, Luis Enrique, Erik ten Hag and Ernesto Valverde have all been linked with the position and Steve Bruce has even been mooted as a possible temporary solution at the helm.
However, it’s understood Mauricio Pochettino remains United’s first-choice option and the Premier League giants are said to be ‘confident’ of luring the Argentine away from Paris Saint-Germain to take over the reins at the Theatre of Dreams.
According to BILD’s Christian Falk, Mancini was another candidate being closely considered and United made contact with the 56-year-old to gauge any potential interest, despite his previous ties to Manchester City.
But the report claims Mancini gave the Red Devils a firm ‘no’ and informed the club he was not willing to step down from his duties with Italy ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
The former City and Inter Milan boss, of course, steered Italy to glory at Euro 2020 in the summer, with the Azzurri beating England on penalties in a nail-biting final at Wembley.
Mancini’s Italy are yet to book their place at Qatar, though, and must qualify through the playoffs after finishing second in their group behind Switzerland.
He succeeded Luigi Di Biagio as head coach back in May 2018 and is contracted to the national team until 2026.
United are likely to continue their pursuit of Pochettino over the coming days, but the ex-Tottenham manager distanced himself from speculation linking him with the job yesterday.
‘I’m happy in Paris,’ Pochettino told reporters.
‘I know the city well both as a player and a coach, I have always lived this type of situation.
‘Things happen and it’s not my responsibility. What I’m going to say if you ask me is that I’m happy in Paris.’
Pochettino stressed he was only concentrating on the task at hand ahead of PSG’s trip to the Etihad in the Champions League.
‘I am focused. I am very focused in football,’ he added.
‘I am not a kid, I am not a child. I spend my whole life playing football and now for more than 12 years being a coach. We are in a business where the rumours are there.
‘I completely understand what is going on, sometimes in a positive way, sometimes in a negative way and this type of thing cannot distract.
‘Rumours are there and we need to live with that.
‘That is the football that we are living. We are so focused. We are giving 100 per cent to get our best from the club and the players to perform in the best way.
‘I am so happy at Paris Saint-Germain.’