Jan Vertonghen has revealed that Mauricio Pochettino is “looking” at returning to management in the Premier League with Manchester United in the frame.
Former Spurs defender Vertonghen, 33, stopped short of naming United “out of respect for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but he is convinced his old boss is waiting for a big Premier League job.
The pair worked together at Spurs for five years until Pochettino was surprisingly relieved of his duties by Daniel Levy in November 2019.
Argentinian coach Pochettino has been linked with numerous vacancies since then. Only this week Championat claimed Russian side Zenit St Petersburg had made contact with the 48-year-old and negotiations were underway.
But according to Vertonghen, despite his ex-manager being “impatient” after being out of the game for 12 months, he is looking for a big job.
Now with Benfica, Vertonghen told CBS Soccer’s Que Golazo podcast: “I can imagine he’s impatient.
“I think the English league suits him very well as he’s a manager that prioritises fitness levels and the physicality of the game.
“I think managing in the Premier League is probably the best thing he can do.
“He will always want to coach a big team I guess, so you have to look at the biggest teams in the league and there are only two or three you can really look at I think at this point.
“I won’t name them out of respect for the other managers, but I think that’s what he’s looking at as well and he wants that big team to confirm him what he’s been doing with Tottenham and what he did very well.
“If I was him I would be impatient because he really loved his job and you want to continue that.”
Mourinho does not want Dele Alli questions
Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho says he does not want to answer questions about Dele Alli after the Tottenham star was subbed at half-time in the defeat by Royal Antwerp.
Mourinho made nine changes to his side for the game in the Europa League, but he was left questioning those changes at full-time.
Dele Alli was handed just his third start of the season. The likes of Gareth Bale, Carlos Vinicius, Steven Bergwijn, Giovani Lo Celso and Harry Winks also took their places in the line-up.
Clearly frustrated by what he witnessed in Belgium, Mourinho admitted afterwards that he would have hooked all 11 players at half-time if he could.
In the end, Mourinho made four at half-time and his fifth and final change on 58 minutes as Spurs lost 1-0.
“I would like to make 11 [changes],” he admitted. “I didn’t make five as was afraid of a long 45 minutes.
“At half-time I tried to improve the situation but it was not enough. Second half we improved. In the end though Antwerp got what they deserved. The best team won and the worst team lost.”
Alli was one of those to be subbed off at half-time and his performance has cast a huge shadow over his Spurs future.
Having reportedly been close to leaving in the summer window, Alli failed to take his chance and now seems well down Mourinho’s pecking order.
Mourinho said: “I don’t want to analyse individuals. I don’t like to do that, especially with you. I think it is fair to say that players with bad performances they influence the team, but also the team influences individual performances. So it is not for me to individualise and to bring some names to the table.”