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Alex Ferguson stages surprise meeting with Mauricio Pochettino

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Pochettino met with Ferguson in London
Pochettino met with Ferguson in London

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has been photographed leaving a dinner with former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, fuelling rumours that the Argentine tactician could be lined up for a shock move to Old Trafford this summer.

Influential United director Ferguson was spotted with Pochettino outside Scott’s restaurant in London, with the Spurs assistant coach Jesus Perez also believed to be in attendance at the meeting.

United boss Louis van Gaal is under huge pressure once again after his side's 3-2 defeat at West Ham on Tuesday night left them hoping for a miracle to secure a top four finish in the Premier League, as they look to win their final game against Bournemouth and hope Manchester City slip up at Swansea on Sunday.

Anything less than a top four finish may well signal the end of Van Gaal’s turbulent two-year reign at Old Trafford, even if he leads his side to FA Cup final success against Crystal Palace at Wembley on May 21st.

Ferguson’s meeting with Pochettino is intriguingly timed, coming days after the Spurs boss confirmed he had verbally agreed a new contract with the north London club, but confirmation that he has signed the deal has not been forthcoming.

The United hierarchy are known to be admirers of Pochettino’s work, with Labour MP for Tottenham, David Lammy, revealing details of his recent conversation with Ferguson earlier this year.

“About six weeks ago, I sat next to Sir Alex Ferguson at a dinner in support of grass-roots football abroad. He said to me, "I think you guys have got the best manager in the Premier League.” Alex Ferguson said that,” stated Lammy.

With opposition to Jose Mourinho’s possible appointment as Van Gaal’s successor evident among the United hierarchy, they would clearly relish the chance to attract the youthful Pochettino to their club and may sense that this is the moment to try and strike.

Until Pochettino signs his new contract, United and Ferguson may suspect they have a chance to snare one of the most coverted coaching talents in the game, with the prospect of the coach who led Tottenham’s most sustained title push arriving at Old Trafford this summer certain to enthuse supporters who have been calling for Van Gaal to be axed.