Soccer

Every club Pochettino has been linked to in last year and why move didn’t happen

On the evening of November 19 2019 the footballing world was stunned as Tottenham announced the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino.

Less than six months after he had guided the club to their first ever Champions League final the Argentinean manager was brutally sacked following a poor start to the 2019-20 campaign, and was succeeded just hours later by Jose Mourinho.

You would have got some very decent odds indeed on Pochettino still being without a job a whole year later, but somehow the 48-year-old has yet to start a new chapter with another team.

That is not to say he hasn't received any offers, though.

Here are the sides Pochettino has been linked with since that fateful November night last year, and the reason why a move has not come to fruition… yet.

Manchester United

Undoubtedly the club which has seen the most column inches with their name next to that of Pochettino's, the rumours linking him with the position at Manchester United just won't go away.

Almost as soon as he was sacked from Spurs Pochettino's shadow started to loom over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and every time United go on a bad run his name is brought up once again.

Nevertheless, despite his clear admiration of Pochettino United's vice executive chairman Ed Woodward seems determined to give Solskjaer time, and as yet he has resisted the urge to bow to public pressure.

The next few months are crucial, however, and unless United start climbing up the table quickly it would be no surprise if the clamour for Pochettino's appointment begins yet again.

Real Madrid

You get the sense that if Pochettino could choose one team to manage before he dies, it would be Real Madrid.

He has regularly spoken with admiration about the La Liga giants, and said as recently as September: "I don't know if I will ever be coach of Real Madrid because football takes you where it wants to but for sure, it's my dream.

"Any coach would have on their dream list to guide Real Madrid."

Despite numerous links with the club, including back when he was still Spurs manager, for one reason or another it hasn't quite happened yet.

With Zinedine Zidane still doing just about enough to cling onto his job at the Bernabeu, it may take until at least the end of the season before an opportunity arises for Pochettino to fulfill his dream.

The question is: will he be willing to take that risk and remain without a job for another half a year?

Barcelona

It is rumoured that Barcelona made an offer not once, but twice, for Pochettino.

However, his past comments about the prospect of managing the rivals of his former side Espanyol have not helped his case.

Pochettino said in 2017: "I am never going to be manager of Barcelona or Arsenal. That is my decision – I prefer to work on my farm in Argentina than in some places."

He has since admitted his regret for his choice of words, but the damage may well have been done, and it is looking increasingly unlikely that Pochettino will ever be able to take up a position at the Nou Camp despite his known love for the city.

Manchester City

City are another club where the door is certainly far from closed for Pochettino.

It looked at one stage as though last season may have been Pep Guardiola's last at the Etihad, but he instead has opted to stay for at least one more.

The Catalan has yet to commit his future beyond the current campaign, however, and with speculation growing that his days in Manchester are numbered, could the blue half of the city tempt Pochettino come next summer?

Newcastle United

Remember when it looked at one stage like Newcastle would become one of the richest clubs in the world?

The Magpies were for months touted for a takeover from a Saudi-led consortium, and it is believed Pochettino was top of their list for prospective managers.

Given his love of England and the Premier League, he would surely have been keen too, especially if he were handed a giant wad for transfer fees.

In the end, however, the takeover broke down, and with it any chance of Pochettino becoming the Toon Army's new managerial hero.

Juventus

Another European giant who are said to be big fans of Pochettino are Juventus, and they fluttered their eyelids in his direction after Maurizio Sarri was sacked at the end of last season.

He was certainly thought to be among the front-runners, and was reported to be very interested in the job too.

However, in the end Juventus couldn't resist the romantic appeal of appointing club legend Andrea Pirlo instead.

Benfica

The chance to live in Lisbon and take charge of a team that regularly wins the Primeira Division and takes part in the Champions League would prove surely too tempting to turn down for some.

This wasn't the case for Pochettino, however, who rejected the advances of Benfica when they made an approach in July.

Some people just don't know how lucky they are.

Monaco

The second team Pochettino confirmed he had turned down were Ligue 1 side Monaco.

The club recently appointed Paul Mitchell as their sporting director, with whom Pochettino worked with both at Southampton and Tottenham.

However, he declined the opportunity to link up with Mitchell for a third time despite being offered a lucrative package.

Zenit St Petersburg

Another left-field shout, but reports last month claimed Pochettino had been in talks with the Russian champions about replacing current boss Sergei Semak.

While the prospect of regular Champions League football may have tempted him, in reality this one never looked like a realistic shout, and as yet Zenit are yet to dismiss Semak, suggesting talks with Pochettino never amounted to anything.

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