Mauricio Pochettino puts Premier League as 'priority' for managerial comeback

Six months after being sacked by Tottenham, the Argentine has been linked to Newcastle and Manchester United

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Mauricio Pochettino is ready to manage again and has said returning to the Premier League is his "priority".

The Argentine 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.

Pochettino has been heavily linked with Newcastle if a takeover by consortium goes through. 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.

While Pochettino has not ruled out joining a foreign club, he has given his biggest indication yet that his next job could 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 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, football is very dynamic and you need to be ready for the moment when the offer appears, the new chapter in your professional life.

“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 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.

“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. It’s one of the options. It can be my priority but I am not closed to move to a different country.”

epa08010882 (FILE) - Manager Mauricio Pochettino (C) and players of Tottenham Hotspur celebrate after the UEFA Champions League semi final, second leg soccer match between Ajax Amsterdam and Tottenham Hotspur in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 08 May 2019 (re-issued 20 November 2019). Tottenham Hotspur has sacked Mauricio Pochettino according to a club statement on 19 November.  EPA/OLAF KRAAK *** Local Caption *** 55177958

Not only is it his love of the English game that is pointing towards staying in this country, it is also his personal circumstances. His two sons Sebastiano and Maurizio live in London, despite the family having a home in Barcelona.

“We have our house and our home here,” he added. “We feel very good for the future in this country. People are very respectful. Football is so exciting.

“It’s difficult to move to Barcelona. And then my kids. Maurizio is playing for Tottenham, Sebastiano has a girlfriend here in London.

“The family is moving around here in London. At the moment my idea is to stay here, live in London – me, myself and my family.”

Whenever football resumes to some sort of normality, Pochettino is not going to be short of offers to resume his managerial career.

Perfect project

The work he did at Spurs, taking them to the top table of English and European football, is sure to earn him a different level of opportunity and he is dreaming of the "perfect project".

“Always, you dream of the perfect club. The perfect project,” he said. “From outside, it’s difficult to measure the capacity of the clubs, the capacity of the players, the squad. You need to share ideas in the moment that some club approaches you and start to talk.

“To try to find if the project is a good fit or not. Today we are going to live a completely different era in football that we need to discover. It’s difficult to know what project is going to be the right project.

“There are many things, at the moment, that we have in our minds about how things are going to be after this virus hopefully disappears, but how are these clubs or companies, because that’s what they are, going to be? It’s a big question mark.

“That’s why it’s so difficult. We are a coaching staff that are open to listen to all the projects, all the people. We are learning and sharing ideas.

“You never know when it’s going to be the motivation or the inspiration to say, ‘Oh, they are the right people, and you want to be with them or their club’.

“We are very receptive to listen to all the people because every single conversation we can learn from and maybe we can see a motivation to go with them.”