Pochettino open to England return

MAURICIO POCHETTINO
MAURICIO POCHETTINO

Argentinian, proud of his legacy at Spurs, prepares for another Premiership challenge

LONDON • Mauricio Pochettino, sacked by Tottenham in November, may have unfinished business with the Premier League.

The Argentinian, who was fired following an inconsistent run of form, has said that he would relish another chance to manage in the English top flight.

Speaking to Sky Sports' In The Pink podcast yesterday, he said: "I would love to work in the Premier League.

"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."

The 47-year-old, who was appointed Tottenham boss in May 2014 after he left Southampton, guided the north London club to the Champions League final last season.

He has no shortage of suitors in European football and has been linked with Manchester United and Real Madrid.

United are blowing hot and cold under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and although Ed Woodward again backed the Norwegian on Monday, it has been reported that Pochettino heads the Old Trafford shortlist should things go awry.

He has, however, insisted that these are all just "rumours" at the moment. He added that although his tenure at Spurs did not end on a good note, he is "very proud about everything I achieved" at a crucial moment for the club before their new stadium was built.

He said: "Everything I had to do was very scary in those moments.

 

"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 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."

The earliest Pochettino is likely to make his Premier League comeback would be in the summer.

Under the terms of his dismissal, he is liable to return the compensation, up to a reported £10 million (S$18 million), if he took over at another Premier League club before the end of this season.

Meanwhile, he has been spending time in Argentina to recharge, visiting his former club Newell's Old Boys, where he began his career as a defender, as well as catching up with old friend Diego Maradona and Spurs legend Ossie Ardiles.

But it was clear that he has his mind on a swift return to the dugout.

In an interview with Fox Sports Argentina, he said: "My best decision was to come to Argentina to switch off for 10 days.

"But at my age I don't need a lot of time to recover. I am open to listen to projects put before me."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2020, with the headline 'Pochettino open to England return'. Print Edition | Subscribe