Mauricio Pochettino has named the three best players in the Premier League and none of his old Tottenham squad are included.
The former Southampton and Spurs boss, who has said returning to the Premier League is his “priority”, has picked three players that he believes are top of the tree in England.
The Argentinian was relieved of his duties at Tottenham in November and is no longer on their payroll having ended his six-month gardening leave earlier this week.
That means he is now free to join another club without prospective owners needing to pay Spurs compensation.
Asked who he rates as the best in the country, Pochettino said Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero and Roberto Firmino are his top performers.
“[Kevin] De Bruyne, one. [Sergio] Aguero. Another?” the Argentine said in an interview with Sky Sports.
“De Bruyne is going to be unfair, I don’t know what I can tell you, [Roberto] Firmino, maybe? Yes.
“But there are hundreds of players I can describe.”
Pochettino has been heavily linked with Newcastle if their takeover goes through, while speculation around him joining Manchester United has never gone away, especially after Spurs defender and close ally Danny Rose said this week he thinks his former manager will end up at Old Trafford.
Real Madrid have also been suitors in the past and, while Pochettino has not ruled out joining a foreign club, he has given his biggest indication yet that his next job will see him back in the Premier League.
“After six months, our tanks are completely full,” he said. “I have tried with my coaching staff to review everything that we did in the last seven years [including Southampton] because we never had a break until now.
“It has been an amazing time to review everything, to start to organise again our ideas to plan the future, to try to compete better, to try to learn from our experience and of course looking forward for the next job because that is very dynamic [fast-changing], football is very dynamic and you need to be ready for the moment when the offer appears, the new chapter in your professional life.
“Of course in my mind, I’m very open to wait for the seduction of the project rather than the country. It’s about the club and of course the people, the human dimension… maybe you can stick with people that you are going to enjoy working with. We are so open.
“Of course we love England, and the Premier League. We feel very good here. We are still living here in London. I am not going change [my feelings] now because I am not involved in the Premier League.
“Because I am no longer the Tottenham manager, I am not going to change my vision.
“I still think the Premier League is the best league in the world. We enjoy it a lot. Of course, it’s one of the options. Of course, it can be my priority but I am not closed to move to a different country.”