Mauricio Pochettino is reportedly keeping his eyes on two potential job openings in the Premier League – while a surprise offer could soon emerge from LaLiga.
Pochettino has been out of work since he was sacked by Tottenham last November and replaced by Jose Mourinho.
The Argentine has been continually linked with the Manchester United hotseat. That speculation has come to the fore again in recent weeks after an indifferent start to the season for the Red Devils.
Indeed, speaking as a guest on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football recently, Pochettino said life in football is “not a stress” and is looking forward to returning soon.
“I am looking forward to be involved in the game, I love the game,” Pochettino said.
“We are inside, working, but it’s not the same as being involved every day. Working with your staff, working with players – always you miss that, that’s the reality.
“I love football, it’s my passion, not my job. It’s not a stress to work in football. It is not a stress to go to training. It’s not a stress to prepare the team. It’s not a stress to compete.”
However, talk that he could be a contender for the United job has this week been torn to shreds by Rio Ferdinand.
Speaking to his FIVE YouTube channel, Ferdinand slammed the “disrespect” the media show towards Solskjaer. Furthermore, he claimed to set the record straight on Solskjaer with his own scoop.
According to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Pochettino is very much keeping an eye on developments at Old Trafford.
Were results to take a downward step, it’s claimed he would be keen to see if he’d be on their wanted list.
However, that’s not the only job of interest to him. Ornstein, in fact, claims a possible future move to Chelsea could also be on the cards.
“I don’t think Pochettino is on the verge of taking a new job at the moment,” Ornstein said on the Tifo Podcast’s Ask Ornstein show.
“As for United, publicly and more interestingly privately from what I hear, they completely support Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. They are giving him their full backing and have no plans as things stand to make a change.
“But we know how quickly things do change in football. There have been reports that United have made contact with Pochettino. I’m not questioning those reports but personally I don’t have that information.
“What we do know is Pochettino’s available. He’s recently conducted a very high-profile television interview. I’m assured this was more of a long-standing commitment than a come-and-get-me plea. He wasn’t putting himself in the shop window or saying ‘I’m ready to return’..
“Suitors, the likes of Manchester United, will already know that. They will know what he brings as a man manager, a person, a coach, etctera. The timing [of his interview] was interesting.
“What I do hear is that Pochettino is waiting and watching very closely in particular United, Manchester City, perhaps Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and others.
“The real issue is that there are no vacancies at the moment which is something of a surprise. In the build up to the summer of 2020 there was expected to be a lot of change in the managerial market.
“But the coronavirus pandemic has changed everything. For many, the idea of sacking a manager and paying compensation is not something they could afford to.
“Perhaps that doesn’t affect clubs right at the top end but it was a worry for many. We’ve talked about United, the situation with City is that Guardiola is there until at least next summer. City have been public in saying they want to extend with him.
“PSG could have a change with Thomas Tuchel and Pochettino formerly a player there. Chelsea, things seem pretty stable at the moment, he’s been backed in the transfer market and things look to be going quite well. They’re embarking on quite a long-term project there.
“Barcelona, a bit of instability with a change at board level of president. We know when a new president comes in they often have their own manager in mind. I’ve heard some of the candidates do have Pochettino on their list but I’m not sure he’s at the top.
“It’d be interesting dynamic with his fellow Argentine Lionel Messi, who is also out of contract next summer. Real Madrid it seems pretty stable at the moment, for a change, with Zinedine Zidane in his second spell there.”
Bilbao keen on Pochettino
For all those top clubs mentioned, it could be a surprise candidate whom gets their hands on Pochettino next.
According to Spanish paper Marca, the former Spurs boss is emerging as a strong contender for Athletic Bilbao.
They are understood to be considering replacing Gaizko Garitano after a poor start to the season. While he looks safe for the immediate future, there are growing reports that he is two bad results away from the axe.
Whether Pochettino does consider Bilbao remains to be seen. However, the report does cite previous comments made by Pochettino on the Basque outfit.
“Athletic is an exciting role model, which generates enormous respect for everything that they represent,” he is quoted as saying.
“The merit that Athletic has is enormous, with a commitment that reaches the limits.”