While Manchester United has zeroed in on their top candidate for their managerial vacancy in Mauricio Pochettino, where they would move if they can't get him is anyone's guess. It has already been reported that Pochettino might be available for a price but being under contract until 2023, that price is hefty. While there had been no contact between the two parties as of yesterday, that could change in the near future as United looks to leave no stone unturned in their search. Though, for Pochettino's part, he attempted to tamp down interest for United in his press conference ahead of facing Manchester City, saying, "I thought I made it clear. I have a contract until 2023. This season and next. I am happy with PSG. It is a fact. It is not up for debate. I am happy in Paris."
According to Guardian correspondent Jamie Jackson, Manchester United has now made contact with Ernesto Valverde in hopes of securing his signature as an interim manager if the names like Pochettino they've been linked to can't happen during the season. It is a fluid situation and one that reeks of a team without a plan, as while United knew that they had to move on from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, doing so without a quick replacement lined up threatens to sink the current season.
Manchester United board had a direct contact with former Barça manager Ernesto Valverde today, as per @JamieJackson___ 🔴 #MUFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 23, 2021
No decision made yet - he’s one of the five candidates in the list in case Mauricio Pochettino won’t be allowed to leave Paris Saint-Germain.
With all of their top options under contract, United will either need to pay through the nose to get their guy before also backing them in the transfer market, or settle for another option but it makes things look much worse on missing out on Antonio Conte. The situation also hinges on Zinedine Zidane as if he doesn't want to go to PSG then they would be left without a replacement for Pochettino.
Valverde might be a better option than an in house solution of Michael Carrick and team leading United through the season but like Nuno Espirito Santo at Tottenham, it is hard to find motivation when you know that you're a team's sixth or seventh choice while also being a short term option.