'I'd go all out for Pochettino' - Rooney urges Man Utd to move for Tottenham boss

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The D.C. United striker believes his former side need to pull out all the stops to lure the Spurs manager to Old Trafford

Wayne Rooney says his first choice for Manchester United manager is Mauricio Pochettino, though he believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deserves a chance to prove himself.

Solskjaer was appointed on an interim basis after Jose Mourinho was sacked in December, and has overseen a major turnaround in the Red Devils’ fortunes.

The club has reeled off six straight victories, with the latest a 1-0 triumph over Pochettino and Tottenham at Wembley, catapulting United back into the top-four race.

However, while the performance under Solskjaer thus far have increased his chances of getting the full-time gig, Pochettino is still seen by many as the club’s top target.

And Rooney, a former team-mate of Solskjaer at United, is still of the opinion that Pochettino would be the best man for the job.

"First of all you have to give Ole an opportunity and that's a discussion that has to take place with the Glazers," Rooney told ESPN. "But if I had the opportunity to appoint someone, I'd go all out for Pochettino.

"I think Manchester United – certainly over the last 20, 30 years, since Alex Ferguson – have based themselves on youth players, young players, bringing players through. I think [Pochettino] gets the best out of his players whether they are younger or older.

"You see some of the young players he has brought through at Tottenham, at Southampton that have gone on to play for the national team, so I think he ticks every box in terms of his quality as a coach, but also his willingness to give youth a chance."

Rooney, who joined D.C. United from Everton last summer, insists it was difficult to watch the Red Devils under Mourinho and is pleased that Solskjaer is giving his star names the freedom to play.

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"I think it wasn't nice watching Manchester United over the last year and knowing the players weren't happy, they weren't enjoying it and I think all he's done is say 'go and play, go and express yourselves, and enjoy it'," he added.

"I think if you take Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and tell them you have to play here, you have to do this, you have to that, they aren't going to be the same players.

"When you are playing at Manchester United you are good enough to know how to play the game and to know what you have to do on the pitch. You need small details of course, but the biggest thing the players need is to just go play and to go enjoy yourself."