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Pochettino: All Roads Lead to Manchester?

LONDON -- Mauricio Pochettino believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's motivation to beat him and his Tottenham Hotspur side on Sunday will have little to do with the managerial situation at Old Trafford.

Sources have told ESPN FC that Pochettino is the leading candidate to take the job full-time in the summer, and United's caretaker manager Solskjaer said on Thursday: "That speculation is there for a reason because he has done well."

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Watch on ESPN networks in the U.S.
ESPN+ is America's home for a host of professional soccer leagues from around the world, highlighted by Italy's Serie A, Major League Soccer, UEFA Nations League and English FA Cup. |
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Welcome to the 2018 FC 100
ESPN FC's experts ranked the best men's players and managers in world football. Check out the list.



How Mourinho unravelled at Man United
Fear, paranoia, difficult behaviour and constant battling with club officials and players led to the inevitable, writes Rob Dawson.




The greatest game never played
When Boca Juniors and River Plate were set to meet in Argentina's most important match, Buenos Aires lost its mind, writes Wright Thompson.



- Follow Transfer Talk LIVE in January
- Fantasy: Set lineups, check scores!

ESPN+ is America's home for a host of professional soccer leagues from around the world, highlighted by Italy's Serie A, Major League Soccer, UEFA Nations League and English FA Cup. |
ESPN+ schedule

ESPN FC's experts ranked the best men's players and managers in world football. Check out the list.

Fear, paranoia, difficult behaviour and constant battling with club officials and players led to the inevitable, writes Rob Dawson.

When Boca Juniors and River Plate were set to meet in Argentina's most important match, Buenos Aires lost its mind, writes Wright Thompson.

Solskjaer could boost his chances of keeping the United job if he masterminds a victory over Pochettino at Wembley, but Pochettino told a news conference on Friday: "The motivation is always going to be there.

"Of course when you're a manager or coach you cannot be focused on all the rumours. The most important thing is the motivation that we have to do our job in our best way.

ESPN+ is America's home for a host of professional soccer leagues from around the world, highlighted by Italy's Serie A, Major League Soccer, UEFA Nations League and English FA Cup. |
ESPN+ schedule

ESPN FC's experts ranked the best men's players and managers in world football. Check out the list.

Fear, paranoia, difficult behaviour and constant battling with club officials and players led to the inevitable, writes Rob Dawson.

When Boca Juniors and River Plate were set to meet in Argentina's most important match, Buenos Aires lost its mind, writes Wright Thompson.

"Of course for him it's a massive motivation or challenge to manage Manchester United, like for me it's a massive challenge to be in front for this football club, Tottenham. Always the motivation is to win because we're so competitive. We're people that love to win and hate to lose.

"The motivation is going to be there because in the Premier League always the motivation is about winning."

Solskjaer's most famous moment in a United shirt came when he scored the winner in injury time against Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final at the Camp Nou.

"I have good memories because I remember when he scored after 90 minutes at the Camp Nou, I was with Tony Jimenez, my goalkeeping coach -- we were then at the Camp Nou in 1999," Pochettino said.

"I remember him when he scored the second goal in injury time and how I shouted the goal of Manchester United. That was unbelievable. We were neutral people watching a fantastic game. I have good memories of him.

"On Sunday we're going to meet at Wembley when 20 years ago I was shouting a goal that he scored for Manchester United."

LONDON -- Maurizio Sarri has accused Bayern Munich of disrespecting Chelsea by publicly expressing their interest in signing winger Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Earlier this week, sources told ESPN FC that Chelsea were prepared to report Bayern to FIFA if evidence of an illegal approach to Hudson-Odoi or his representatives was found, having been angered by the club's public pursuit of the academy graduate.

Editors' Picks


Watch on ESPN networks in the U.S.
ESPN+ is America's home for a host of professional soccer leagues from around the world, highlighted by Italy's Serie A, Major League Soccer, UEFA Nations League and English FA Cup. |
ESPN+ schedule



Welcome to the 2018 FC 100
ESPN FC's experts ranked the best men's players and managers in world football. Check out the list.



How Mourinho unravelled at Man United
Fear, paranoia, difficult behaviour and constant battling with club officials and players led to the inevitable, writes Rob Dawson.




The greatest game never played
When Boca Juniors and River Plate were set to meet in Argentina's most important match, Buenos Aires lost its mind, writes Wright Thompson.



- Follow Transfer Talk LIVE in January
- Fantasy: Set lineups, check scores!

ESPN+ is America's home for a host of professional soccer leagues from around the world, highlighted by Italy's Serie A, Major League Soccer, UEFA Nations League and English FA Cup. |
ESPN+ schedule

ESPN FC's experts ranked the best men's players and managers in world football. Check out the list.

Fear, paranoia, difficult behaviour and constant battling with club officials and players led to the inevitable, writes Rob Dawson.

When Boca Juniors and River Plate were set to meet in Argentina's most important match, Buenos Aires lost its mind, writes Wright Thompson.

On Wednesday, a source told ESPN FC that Hudson-Odoi had no plans to sign a new contract at Chelsea as Bayern await a response to their fourth bid for the 18-year-old, understood to be in the region of £35 million.

Chelsea, however, have not given up hope of changing Hudson-Odoi's mind, and Sarri -- who picked the 18-year-old to start against Tottenham in the Carabao Cup semifinal first leg at Wembley on Tuesday -- hit out at Bayern.

"I think that it is not professional because they are talking about a player under contract with Chelsea, so they didn't respect our club," he said.

"Then I don't know what to say, I don't know the situation. I am happy with the player because he is improving, improving a lot in the defensive phase. Now he needs to improve in some movements without the ball, but he is working very well at the moment.

"I am very happy with the player and would like to have him in the future."

Hudson-Odoi is available to face Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday, but Sarri said he would monitor the 18-year-old's condition after noticing fatigue this week.

The coach's options on the wing have improved with the return to fitness of Pedro and Willian, who on Thursday was the subject of reports that Barcelona had submitted an offer worth £50m to sign him, with Malcom heading the other way.

Sarri said he was not aware of any approach to Willian, but added: "Of course [I don't want to lose him] because he is really very important. I think that he can do better. He is really very important for us and it is impossible to lose him in January."

Chelsea will be without Ruben Loftus-Cheek for the Newcastle game as the midfielder deals with back pain, while Sarri confirmed that Cesc Fabregas would not be considered for selection as he waits to complete a move to Monaco.

Alvaro Morata is back in training and available despite both Sevilla and Atletico Madrid hoping to sign him on loan this month, while Sarri was present as Chelsea met Nicolas Higuain, the brother and agent of Juventus striker Gonzalo, this week to discuss a deal to make him Morata's replacement.

"Of course if Morata will go to another club we need another striker," Sarri said. "That is normal."

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