Former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has admitted he would relish another opportunity to manage in the Premier League on the night he was spotted in public with Ed Woodward’s PR advisor Neil Ashton.
Pochettino, who took over at White Hart Lane in May 2014 after leaving Southampton, had guided the north London club to the Champions League final last season.
However, following a run of inconsistent form which saw them drop out of contention for the top four, the Argentinian was sacked by Spurs during November – and swiftly replaced by Jose Mourinho.
Before leaving Tottenham, the 47-year-old had previously been linked with Manchester United, as well as Spanish giants Real Madrid.
Indeed, rumours have been growing over his potential appointment at Old Trafford since the turn of the year after one report claimed he had already held talks with the club and made this major demand of United’s executive vice-chairman Woodward.
And addressing those rumours for the first time, Pochettino, while not specifically naming Manchester United told Sky Sports’ In The Pink podcast he would be tempted by another job in the English top flight if the right opportunity presented itself.
“To be honest, I would love to work in the Premier League,” he said. “It’s going to be difficult, I know, and for now it’s a moment to wait and we’ll see what happens.
“It’s a moment of recovery, to think about yourself a little bit, and to be ready because in football always something can happen and you need to be ready.
“I’m ready and waiting for a new challenge. I have the belief and confidence that the next challenge will be fantastic.”
Pochettino’s revelation comes on a night he was spotted at the Brentford v Leeds game alongside Woodward’s new PR advisor Ashton.
Ashton, who previously worked for The Sun, has been appointed by Woodward to help the much-maligned United chief deal with both media criticism and to generate much more of a positive vibe over his role at the club.
Pochettino is close friends with Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa, whose side on Tuesday played out a 1-1 draw at Griffin Park, but his public appearance alongside Ashton did plenty to send the rumour mill into overdrive.
Pochettino proud of Tottenham reign
Despite the way his tenure ended, the former Spurs boss remains “very proud about everything I achieved” having been manager “at a pivotal moment for the club” ahead of their new stadium move.
“Everything I had to do was very scary in those moments,” he said.
“To destroy White Hart Lane and to build a new stadium, to play at Wembley and Milton Keynes, only football people know how difficult it was to deal with these situations.
“To apply a new philosophy and new ideas was very tough but I feel very proud with the success that we had and to take Tottenham to a different level.
“To play in the Champions League for three or four years and finish above Arsenal many times was a great legacy for us.
“To win a title would be a great reward but for us that is the legacy, to have the club and the stadium at Tottenham. That is more than winning titles.”