Where could Mauricio Pochettino manage next season?
The former Tottenham boss could be ready to get back in the game
Mauricio Pochettino had the world at his feet last season as he miraculously guided Tottenham to the Champions League final, attracting interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Yet a difficult start to this season saw Spurs make the difficult decision to replace him with Jose Mourinho, leaving him out in the cold.
But his stock remains high and after a six-month break, there’s been talk of a return to management for the Argentine.
And while it remains unclear when football as we know it will return, we’ve taken a look at a few potential destinations for Pochettino.
A few months ago it would have seemed ridiculous for a manager of Pochettino’s calibre to consider taking charge of a team currently 13th in the Premier League.
But with the Magpies on the verge of being taken over by a multi-billion Saudi-led consortium, the sky is the limit for the north-east club.
Reports suggest the new owners will look to replace Steve Bruce with a higher class of manager and Pochettino is currently priced at 11/10 to take charge at St James’ Park.
Newcastle showed ambition in appointing Rafael Benitez in 2016 and Pochettino could be tempted by the freedom of a new project, having been working with one hand tied behind his back in the transfer market at Spurs.
When Mourinho was sacked in December 2018, it seemed like only a matter of time before Pochettino turned up at Old Trafford.
But United bosses showed faith in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after an impressive start and they appear to be making progress this season, despite a less than ideal first half of the campaign.
Yet question marks about Solskjaer’s longevity remain and United may want to snap up Pochettino while he’s still available.
The club’s history speaks for itself and they’re not shy in giving managers the funds to improve the squad, as shown by the big-money arrivals of Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Bruno Fernandes.
Much like United last season, it was surprising that Real didn’t make a move for Pochettino, instead re-appointing Zinedine Zidane less than a year after he quit the club.
The Frenchman struggled for results at the start of this season but he’s turned things around and Real are now just two points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona.
However, the Spanish side are long-term admirers of Pochettino and they may be considering a change in order to get them firing in the Champions League again.
Real are also still desperate to replace Cristiano Ronaldo’s goals and they could see Pochettino as the key to tempting Harry Kane to quit Spurs.
After two years of dominating English football, Pep Guardiola’s City have been slightly off the pace this term and have struggled to keep up with Liverpool.
And while the Spaniard has made it clear he has no intention of leaving, he may feel as though his time is coming to an end, particularly if City lose their appeal and are banned from the Champions League.
Pochettino seems like the obvious successor – he knows the league, he can adopt a similar brand of football and, most importantly, he’s unemployed.
But City are in no rush to dismiss the best manager in their history and will only look to replace him if he makes the decision to step down.
Surely not? Having only left north London in November, Pochettino is almost certainly looking for a fresh challenge.
But after a hit and miss first six months under Mourinho, Spurs chiefs may be silently regretting their hasty decision.
In an interview this week Pochettino insisted he is determined to return one day and finish the job he started by winning the Premier League and the Champions League.
However, it doesn’t seem particularly realistic at present and Spurs fans are more likely to see their former boss in the opposition dugout next season.
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