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African All Stars

Manchester United’s McCarthy never interested in Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates - agent

18:52 GMT+3 03/08/2022
Benni McCarthy
The former Bafana Bafana striker is now back in Europe where he established himself as a big star during his playing days

Rob Moore, the agent of Benni McCarthy, says the Manchester United first-team coach was never interested in the Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates jobs.

When McCarthy was unattached after being fired by AmaZulu, Chiefs were looking for Stuart Baxter’s replacement while Pirates needed a substantive coach to do away with the interim co-coach set up between Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids.

Amakhosi then settled for Arthur Zwane and the Buccaneers, who were strongly linked with McCarthy, went to Finland to rope in little-known Spaniard Jose Riveiro.

Moore says they were approached by another Premier Soccer League team he declines to name and he goes on to say the domestic scene was never an option because their eyes were set on Europe.

“Benni never applied for any position at either Chiefs or Pirates in the last months. There were never any discussions between us and both Chiefs and Pirates,” Moore told Spot On on SAFM.

“There was one other PSL club [interested in McCarthy] and it wasn’t one he was going to consider. We always felt that maybe if it was going to be possible, this was the timing to try and make that jump onto the European ladder.”

Moore explains in detail how McCarthy ended up at Old Trafford and says he was scouting the market for his then jobless coach when he realised there were no names linked with Erik ten Hag’s backroom staff.

He said he then called the Dutchman before McCarthy was invited for an interview.

“We went into the interview and very importantly in that interview, Benni said to Erik, ‘at the end of the day, a number of players since I was head coach at Cape Town City and AmaZulu, there were nine players who ended up winning their first caps for their countries,’” added Moore.

“That was important to Erik. What it told him was that Benni has done well as a coach, he can make players better and take them to new levels.

“That interview went on very well and then Erik asked Benni to come later and take a training session with the Under-23 team of Manchester United. Erik was watching that and analysing Benni’s suitability.

“He then said I’ll think about it because I have other names I am considering and I’ll come back to you. A couple of weeks later he came back and said if you want a job it’s there, let’s go for it. So we spent last week doing the contract.”

Moore then takes a swipe at critics who say McCarthy took steps backwards from being a head coach to being part of Ten Hag’s backroom staff.

“How many coaches have moved from the PSL to coach in Europe as head coaches?” Moore asked?

“Benni is very fortunate to have the opportunity to get onto this ladder. Ninety-nine percent of people don't even get onto the ladder and he now has to climb the ladder starting in one of the biggest clubs in the world alongside Steve McClaren, who worked with Sir Alex Ferguson in the club's glory years of Manchester United.

“Steve Maclaren then went on to coach England. Then he is working with another very able lieutenant of Ten Hag, Mitchell van der Gaag. Then you are working with Erik ten Hag himself who is a hugely successful coach in Europe already.

“So as much as he is going to bring in his skills and try to contribute as best as he can to Manchester United, he is significantly learning at the same time and it’s a really unique opportunity.”

McCarthy started his coaching career in Europe when he was an assistant at Belgian side Sint Truiden before his stints in the PSL.