In Brief

Mauricio Pochettino snubs Real Madrid and waits for Man City

Pep Guardiola’s future at the Etihad is in the balance

Mauricio Pochettino has his heart set on Manchester City, reports The Sun, and as a result the Argentine is “refusing to commit” to Real Madrid. 

The paper says the Spanish giants have been making eyes at Pochettino following his dismissal from Tottenham Hotspur last month, but it’s claimed that he sees City as his dream job.

Speculation has been growing in recent weeks that Pep Guardiola could quit the Etihad in the summer and Pochettino would jump at the chance of replacing the Spaniard. 

He’s also keen on replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United. While Norwegian Solskjaer is expected to remain manager for the rest of the season, if he fails to steer United into the Champions League he will likely be sacked.

The Sun says that 47-year-old Pochettino is the “leading contender for United chiefs”, but his preference is for City as they are a more stable club. 

What’s certain is that he doesn’t want the Real job, despite the Sun’s claim that they were willing to pay the Argentine “around £12m”.

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Sweeping changes

Guardiola’s future at Man City is in the balance, reports the Daily Mail, and apparently he is “demanding sweeping changes across the board at the club if he is to extend his current contract”.

The lack of strength in depth in the City squad has been exposed in the first half of the season, which is why they are effectively out of the title race, trailing Liverpool by a whopping 14 points, and Guardiola wants the money to overhaul his ailing squad. 

The Mail says he “wants three new additions in the summer”, as well as a fresh face on his coaching staff to replace Mikel Arteta, who will be officially unveiled as Arsenal’s new manager today.

Spending spree

Guardiola was allegedly disgruntled last summer at the club’s reluctance to go on a spending spree, recruiting only two players, and he has told City chiefs he will sign a new deal only if he is allowed to bring in a centre back, left back and a new forward. 

The Mail says that there is a clause in the deal that Guardiola signed last year, allowing him to “walk away at the end of the current season should certain stipulations that satisfy the club be met”.

Today’s back pages

Man Utd fear Paul Pogba exit in January and Carlo Ancelotti agrees £9m-a-year deal with Everton

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