Mauricio Pochettino Says 'I Expect to Return to Europe' Amid Man United Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 3, 2019

Tottenham Hotspur's Argentinian head coach Mauricio Pochettino gestures during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on November 9, 2019. (Photo by Ian KINGTON / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images)
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Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has said he expects to return to manage a European club soon amid speculation linking him with the Manchester United job.

Despite leading Spurs to a UEFA Champions League final in June, Pochettino was sacked as the team's boss in November after a challenging beginning to 2019-20. He has since been replaced by former United manager Jose Mourinho.

Speaking about his future, Pochettino said he wants to get back in the game soon despite his testing recent spell with the north London club, per Fox Sports Argentina (h/t BBC Sport):

"There are a lot of clubs and attractive projects for me to take on. It is my intention to return to manage in Europe. But now I need to be calm for a few days and see what happens.

"...For the time being the most important thing is for me to clear my head after five-and-a-half incredible seasons with Tottenham. My aim is to seek the ability to rebuild myself and get my self-motivation back. I haven't had a lot of time to digest what has happened.

"My first decision was to come back to Argentina, return to my home and see family and friends. My best decision was to come to Argentina to switch off for 10 days. But I expect to return to Europe to make decisions on my future."

According to Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News, one of the projects that appeals to Pochettino is the position at Old Trafford, where incumbent manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under increased pressure after Sunday's 2-2 draw with Aston Villa.

Luckhurst wrote that Pochettino is "enchanted" by the prospect of becoming the United manager. "Pochettino wanted the United manager's role following Mourinho's dismissal last December, but Solskjaer presided over 14 wins from 19 as caretaker coach," he added.

Luckhurst provided further details on Twitter:

Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst

Barriers placed by Tottenham are an issue but if #mufc decide they need to change manager they can't hesitate about a fee to get Pochettino, especially given competition. He'd probably cost cheaper than the amount they've invested in Phil Jones's four-and-a-half year contract.

Although the 47-year-old coach is not employed by a club, Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph noted it may not be straightforward signing him up:

Matt Law @Matt_Law_DT

Think Pochettino is a free agent? Think again. Clubs, at home or abroad, will have to pay Tottenham compensation to get him. And they will have to negotiate with Daniel Levy #thfc #afc #mufc https://t.co/MNH6aFUrMk

Per the aforementioned BBC article, Pochettino has also been linked with Arsenal and Bayern Munich, who have sacked Unai Emery and Niko Kovac, respectively, this term.

The United rumours have long been prominent when it comes to Pochettino though. Solskjaer was asked about the reports regarding his job security on Tuesday:

Match of the Day @BBCMOTD

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's not concerned for his job at Manchester United. But he says his team can do better. #bbcfootball https://t.co/AxaUfSzr7T

Ahead of the clash with Spurs on Wednesday, the Manchester giants are ninth in the Premier League table, having struggled for consistency throughout the season.

Pochettino is regarded as one of the best coaches in the world, having transformed Tottenham into Champions League regulars in his five-and-a-half seasons at Spurs, with the team playing a vibrant brand of football in the process.