Tuesday, March 31, 2020

When I say I am open, I am open – Pochettino admits he would have considered Arsenal job

SoccerNews in English Premier League 21 Dec 2019

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Mauricio Pochettino has admitted he would have considered taking the Arsenal job if he had been approached, despite his “love” for former club Tottenham.

The 47-year-old was sacked by Tottenham on November 19 after a difficult start to the season, with Jose Mourinho brought in as his replacement the following day.

He returned to his native Argentina to unwind but declared earlier this month he is open to making a swift return to the dugout should the right opportunity present itself.

Pochettino was linked with the Arsenal job following Unai Emery’s departure, but Mikel Arteta was confirmed as the club’s new permanent head coach on Friday.

However, the former Espanyol and Southampton boss has reiterated he would have been open to talking with Arsenal over the position and potentially crossing the north London divide.

“When I say I am open, I am open. I cannot say that I am open but I’m closed to someone,” he said, according to The Mirror.

“It’s different if you receive an approach and you listen and say yes or no. That’s different.

“But you can’t say that I’m open but on that I am not open. You are open and then you are open. Anything can happen. When I say I am open, I am open to listen to any club.”

Pochettino has also been mentioned as a possible successor to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City amid speculation the Catalan coach is considering an end-of-season exit.

Addressing the recent speculation, Pochettino said: “To be honest, I don’t read too much. I’m lucky now because I have [assistant] Jesus Perez with me and he reads it all for me.

“Of course I love the Premier League, the English fans and if not the best, it’s one of the best leagues in the world and for any manager it’s very exciting to be involved in the Premier League.

“But it’s not just the Premier League, there’s other leagues, different clubs which can be exciting and can give you a challenge that is maybe different.”

Pochettino guided Spurs to four successive top-four finishes in the Premier League and to their first Champions League final earlier this year.

Chairman Daniel Levy this week suggested Pochettino could return to Tottenham for a second spell one day, and the Argentinian is not ruling anything out.

“Look at what happened with Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid – there’s plenty of examples and the most important thing is when you finish the relationships remain in a very good way and my love for Tottenham goes on,” he said.

“You feel that always from the fans, you feel the love and in football you never know. The same coaches or managers one day leave and then go back, different presidents, different times. Now it’s not in my hands, it’s in another person’s hands.

“We need to move on and of course you have different motivations and challenges in our life and we have to make sure we have the right energy to attack the new challenge and try to achieve all the new things that people expect from you.”

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