Sam Allardyce believes Mauricio Pochettino may be forced to walk out on Tottenham if chairman Daniel Levy refuses to let Manchester United speak with the coach about replacing Jose Mourinho.
However, even with the Spurs manager at the helm, Big Sam has warned it may take THREE YEARS to get the Red Devils challenging for top titles again.
Pochettino is said to be one of United’s top targets after announcing the departure of Mourinho as manager on Tuesday morning.
Old Trafford legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been confirmed as caretaker manager until the end of the season, with the club aiming to appoint their next permanent boss in the summer – and Pochettino and Zinedine Zidane are two of the big favourites.
The Argentine has maintained his commitment to the north London club throughout links with the roles at Man United and Real Madrid, and on Tuesday refused to respond to the speculation and insisted on he was ‘so focused’ on his job with Tottenham.
But even though Allardyce says it would be extremely difficult for Pochettino to say no to the Red Devils, he suggested to talkSPORT he cannot see the move happening – because of shrewd businessman Levy.
Asked how difficult it would be for Pochettino to turn down the job, Big Sam told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: “I think it would be extremely difficult.
“But then again, will Manchester United pay the compensation Tottenham would want for him?
“We all know Daniel Levy would be asking the absolute maximum he could possibly ask for, and that’s if he would even allow Manchester United to talk to him.
“If Tottenham say no, Manchester United realistically within the rules can’t even contact Mauricio, he’d have to walk out.
“We don’t see that happening too often now.”
Mourinho was given the boot after overseeing Manchester United’s worst ever start to a Premier League campaign – which was confirmed with a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday.
The Red Devils are currently sixth in the table, 19 points off the top spot and 11 adrift of the top four.
And Allardyce believes it will take some time for any manager to turn around their fortunes.
“They have got to find the man they want and build Man United from a very low point at the moment to get back to challenging at the top.
“I think, realistically, that’s probably three years away.
“I think you’re asking a bit too much of any manager to do it quicker.”
Listen back to Sam Allardyce on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast IN FULL above!