Pochettino is Magpies' main target

Newcastle's new owners willing to pay him £19m, though his dream is to manage Spurs again

Tottenham Hotspur's then manager Mauricio Pochettino, with Newcastle's ex-manager Rafael Benitez during their match at St James' Park on Aug 11, 2018, feels motivated for his next job, but says he still feels the pull of Spurs.
Tottenham Hotspur's then manager Mauricio Pochettino, with Newcastle's ex-manager Rafael Benitez during their match at St James' Park on Aug 11, 2018, feels motivated for his next job, but says he still feels the pull of Spurs. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Just a little more than five months after he was sacked by Tottenham Hotspur, Mauricio Pochettino could soon find his way back to the Premier League.

The Argentinian left Spurs in November, six months after leading them to the Champions League final, and has been linked with Newcastle United in recent days.

Sky Sports has claimed that he is the main target of the Magpies' prospective new Saudi Arabian owners, should they complete a £300 million (S$533 million) takeover of the club from Mike Ashley.

Steve Bruce is the current Newcastle manager but, according to Sky, the likelihood is that Pochettino would take charge once the season has concluded amid the coronavirus crisis.

Newcastle's prospective owners are reported to have been impressed by the rebuilding project carried out by Pochettino during his five-year tenure at Spurs, despite the 48-year-old having yet to win a trophy in his managerial career.

But Graeme Souness has warned that the appointment of a "bigger name" as manager will not guarantee success at St James' Park.

The former Newcastle boss told The Football Show: "I think if the takeover does happen, I think Steve Bruce should be (the manager).

"I think they should give him a crack as he's done a fantastic job up there with limited resources under pressure all the time.

"I think he's performed really well but, as is the way in football, new people coming in will want their own men and that will be right across the football club.

"They'll want to do things differently, and I would imagine they'll be wanting someone who's deemed to be a sexier name, a bigger name. Someone who's maybe done a bit more in the game. (But) that doesn't guarantee them success."

The Magpies are reportedly willing to pay Pochettino a mouthwatering £19 million annually, making him the second-highest paid manager in the Premier League after Manchester City's Pep Guardiola (£20 million).

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  • If the sale goes through, the new owners of Newcastle are reportedly willing to offer Mauricio Pochettino a salary of £19 million, second only to Man City's Pep Guardiola.

But the Argentinian could not disguise his desire to return to north London at some stage in his career.

He told BT Sport: "It was an amazing journey that finished the way no one wanted it to finish.

"But, deep in my heart, I am sure our paths will cross again. From the day I left the club, my dream is to be back one day and to try to finish the work we didn't finish. We were so close to winning the Premier League and Champions League."

Pochettino also said he felt motivated for his next job but still felt the pull of Tottenham.

"Deep inside I want to go back because the fans are so special. Maybe in five years, maybe in 10 years, but before I die I want to manage Tottenham," he said. "I want to feel what it means to win one title with Tottenham because the fans are amazing, all the love we received was amazing and that is a good opportunity to pay back all the love they showed us from day one."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 02, 2020, with the headline Pochettino is Magpies' main target. Subscribe