Manchester United had an initial inquiry about the immediate availability of Mauricio Pochettino which was rejected by Paris Saint-Germain, sources told ESPN.
United made the Argentine their main target as their next permanent manager following the dismissal of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday.
The club is willing to name Pochettino now if an agreement can be reached, but intermediaries tasked with assessing the 49-year-old’s situation at PSG have reported that the French team, for now, is unwilling to speak.
United believe Pochettino is likely only available in the summer, unless the former Tottenham boss forces him out.
Sources told ESPN that Pochettino would be interested in the vacancy at Old Trafford, but is under contract in Paris until 2023 after signing an extension in the summer.
PSG have contacted former Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane in case Pochettino returns to the Premier League. Agreeing the terms with Zidane would affect when, and if, Pochettino is allowed to leave PSG.
Meanwhile, sources have told ESPN that United continues to search for potential interim coaches to lead the team through the summer.
Talks have been held with former Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde, while Lucien Favre, previously at Borussia Dortmund, is also on their list.
Ralf Rangnick, who was previously in charge of RB Leipzig and now works for Lokomotiv Moscow, has distanced himself from work.
The process of finding an interim coach is still ongoing despite interim Michael Carrick leading United to an impressive 2-0 victory over Villarreal on Tuesday night to reserve a spot in the knockout rounds of the Liga de Champions as winner of Group F.
Soccer director John Murtough and manager Darren Fletcher are leading the search for temporary and permanent managers, but Executive Vice President Ed Woodward and Co-President Joel Glazer will have the final say on who is appointed.
Woodward is still scheduled to leave the club at the end of the year and hand over to the group’s current managing director, Richard Arnold, but sources have told ESPN that he can still remain as a consultant to help with the coaching transition.