Mauricio Pochettino could join a surprise Spanish club over the summer after being rejected by Manchester United, with a report putting him close to the sack at Paris Saint-Germain.
Pochettino has been linked with the United job ever since his days at Tottenham. He took the side to second in the Premier League in 2016-17, as well as the 2019 Champions League final.
However, Pochettino couldn’t get Tottenham over the line in either competition and their trophy-less run continues.
The Argentine was let go by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy in November 2019 and went on to sign with PSG in January last year.
This season, he took Les Parisiens to the Ligue 1 title. However, they were unable to win the UCL after crashing out to Real Madrid in the round of 16.
Pochettino was one of the Manchester United managerial targets as they looked to replace interim boss Ralf Rangnick.
But the Red Devils went for Erik ten Hag of Ajax instead, leaving Pochettino without a serious option if PSG do sack him.
According to The Sun, who cite French outlet L’Equipe, Pochettino is not totally out of potential destinations.
Mauricio Pochettino offered chance of La Liga return
That’s because La Liga team Athletic Bilbao could move for him if a PSG exit becomes a reality.
The report claims Bilbao have already made contact with Pochettino and his entourage. However, it does not reveal the 50-year-old’s response.
Bilbao sit eighth in the Spanish first division after winning 13 of their 36 matches so far. They could leapfrog Villarreal into seventh if results go their way.
Current boss Marcelino Garcia Toral has done a good job since taking over in January 2021 – days after Pochettino took charge of PSG.
They finished 11th in 2019-20, 10th last season and are now eighth, suggesting things are going in the right direction.
But Pochettino would be an upgrade due to his experience in Europe. However, this also means it would be an ambitious move for Bilbao to pull off.
Pochettino, formerly the manager of Espanyol, would likely want to remain at a top club if he does part ways with PSG. There were rumours of a return to Spurs, although this could only happen if Antonio Conte leaves.
Plus, Pochettino was on Barcelona’s radar before their capture of Xavi from Qatari side Al Sadd.
Due to these links, it is unlikely Pochettino would accept the role of Bilbao manager. He will likely keep a keen eye on Ten Hag’s success at Old Trafford, though.
Should the Dutchman fail to bring success to United, then Pochettino could finally join the club.