In Brief

Mauricio Pochettino hints at a return - but to which club?

Argentine’s interview puts Man Utd and Arsenal on red alert

Mauricio Pochettino has given his first major interview since being sacked as Tottenham Hotspur manager last month. 

The Argentine’s comments have put Manchester United and Arsenal “on red alert”, claims The Sun, with both clubs eyeing up the out-of-work South American. 

Clear the head

In a candid no-holds barred interview with Fox Sports Argentina, Pochettino was asked if he intends to take an extended break from management or whether he is eager to prove his former employers were wrong to give him the chop.

“There are a lot of clubs and attractive projects for me to take on,” he replied. “My aim is to seek the ability to rebuild myself and get my self-motivation back.

“But for the time being the most important thing is for me to clear my head after five-and-a-half incredible seasons with Tottenham.”

European ambition

As well as Arsenal and Man Utd, European giants Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have also been linked to Pochettino, who was replaced at Spurs a fortnight ago by Jose Mourinho

There have also been suggestions he might look for a job in his homeland, but Pochettino smashed that speculation, at the same time whetting the appetite of his suitors. 

“It is my intention to return to manage in Europe,” he explained. “It is hard for me to imagine a project in Argentina. However, for the sake of my family, I would not refuse to work over here, but I expect to return to Europe to make decisions on my future.” 

Money worries

One factor perhaps weighing on Pochettino’s mind is the knowledge that should he take another job in the Premier League this season he would have to return to Tottenham the £12.5m compensation he was paid when sacked.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Solskjaer next in sack race?

Nonetheless, says the Sun, Man Utd are reportedly considering making a play for Pochettino after the club were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Aston Villa. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had a year to work some magic at Old Trafford following his appointment in the wake of Mourinho’s sacking, but the Red Devils remain mired in mediocrity. 

Consequently, The Sun adds that the Norwegian has “told his players he will be axed if they lose against Tottenham and Manchester City this week”. 

The bookmakers seem to agree with Ladbrokes shortening the odds on Pochettino being United’s next manager to 2/1.

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Today’s back pages 

Lionel Messi makes Ballon d’Or history and Mauricio Pochettino is open to offers

Midweek Premier League fixtures 

Tuesday 3 December
  • Crystal Palace vs. AFC Bournemouth (7.30pm, live on Amazon Prime Video
  • Burnley vs. Manchester City (8.15pm, live on Amazon Prime Video)
Wednesday 4 December 
  • Chelsea vs. Aston Villa (7.30pm, live on Amazon Prime Video) 
  • Leicester City vs. Watford (7.30pm, live on Amazon Prime Video)  
  • Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur (7.30pm, live on Amazon Prime Video)   
  • Southampton vs. Norwich City (7.30pm, live on Amazon Prime Video)   
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. West Ham United (7.30pm, live on Amazon Prime Video)   
  • Liverpool vs. Everton (8.15pm, live on Amazon Prime Video)  
Thursday 5 December 
  • Sheffield United vs. Newcastle United (7.30pm, live on Amazon Prime Video)
  • Arsenal vs. Brighton & Hove Albion (8.15pm, live on Amazon Prime Video) 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For analysis of the biggest sport stories - and a concise, balanced take on the week’s news - try The Week magazine. Start your trial today –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

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