Pochettino ‘very open’ to ‘transforming’ Premier League club as Nice slam ‘lacking in respect’ rumours

Mauricio Pochettino, February 2022

Mauricio Pochettino would reportedly be willing to lead Aston Villa after Nice shut down talk of the Argentine becoming their new manager.

Pochettino is still out of work after Paris Saint-Germain removed him from their dugout earlier this year. As for where the ex-Tottenham man could go next, Nice recently emerged as a supposed option.

Lucien Favre has been under pressure at the French club following a tough start to the campaign.

And Pochettino reportedly discussed January transfer plans in discussions with Nice. Indeed, Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris would reportedly have been his top target.

But after another report talked of former Bournemouth manager Scott Parker emerging as a candidate for Nice, the French club’s president Jean-Pierre Rivere has denied approaches for any managers.

Rivere revealed that Nice in fact have renewed confidence in Favre after clear-the-air talks.

“We aren’t going to change manager after just eight games. This isn’t the solution either on a sporting or human level,” Rivere told the Daily Mail.

“We had a long meeting with him yesterday and Lucien left very happy, he was happy that we support him.

“The rumours were unfounded. No one at the club contact, nor called Pochettino or his representatives.

“It is a rumour lacking in respect and weakens our current coach’s position. We are going to work together with Lucien in order to make up for the poor start to the season. He hasn’t been given any ultimatum.”

Pochettino would be keen on Aston Villa

With Nice ruling out a move for Pochettino, Football Insider claims that Villa could yet become an option for him.

Like Favre, Gerrard is under fire at the West Midlands club after a difficult start to the campaign.

And the report says that Pochettino is ‘keen’ on taking over there and would be ‘very open’ to having a go at ‘transforming’ the club’s progress.

In revealing Pochettino’s interest in Gerrard’s role, the report claims that Pochettino is not only looking for a return to a club in the Champions League.

Instead, he is mainly looking for the right project which he can develop and grow.

Villa currently sit 15th in the Premier League and have only won two of seven games this season. While they have scored six goals, they have also conceded 10.

Gerrard has claimed points in his last two Villa matches, though. After a solid 1-1 draw with champions Manchester City, they beat Southampton 1-0.

As such, Pochettino may not even get the chance to take over from Gerrard soon if that trend of form continues.

Former Prem boss would suit Villa

A move to Villa Park would suit Pochettino, who has shown his worth in building projects from scratch.

Tottenham had been in and around the Premier League’s top four before he arrived, but he took them to the closest to a Premier League title they have got in recent seasons.

And that was before he took Spurs to the Champions League final, beating Manchester City and Ajax along the way.

Villa are a similarly ambitious club with hopes of European football. For now, though, they still need to put down the foundations of their rise.

Gerrard came in and talked of a particular style of play he was going to bring in, but that identity has not been fully embedded into the team.

Pochettino, though, has proven his ability in the Premier League to get teams playing his way. Before Tottenham, he made his mark at Southampton and initially shot to fame on the south coast.

A move to Villa would allow him to get back to his roots and build a project like he did with Southampton and Spurs.

At PSG, he had no wriggle room to play his way, given the talent on show with the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Sergio Ramos. However, with investment at Villa, he would be able to build his project in his mould.