Football

Mauricio Pochettino wants English Premier League return

Ex-Spurs boss signals his intent in interview, is spotted alongside Man United's new PR adviser

Mauricio Pochettino has again intimated that he would like to return to the English Premier League, calling it the "best league in the world".

The Argentine was sacked as Tottenham Hotspur manager last November.

During his 2014-2019 tenure in north London, he finished second in the league, reached the League Cup and Champions League finals and successive FA Cup semi-finals.

The 47-year-old former Espanyol and Southampton manager last month said he would like to return to La Liga or the EPL.

Yesterday, he reiterated his desire to return to the English top flight, telling Sky Sports: "To be honest, I would love to work in the Premier League.

"It's going to be difficult, I know, and for now it's a moment to wait and we'll see what happens.

"It's a moment of recovery, to think about yourself a little bit, and to be ready because in football always something can happen and you need to be ready.

"I'm ready and waiting for a new challenge. I have the belief and confidence that the next challenge will be fantastic...

"Before, English football was closed. It was difficult to share and mix here but the European coaches have been influential.

"People have been more open to discover a different type of football.

"When I first arrived at Southampton, the players would say you have to play long balls in behind the fullbacks and press, the approach was always like this.

"To change this mentality was tough, but you can see a different style in football now and that makes the Premier League the best league in the world."

Pochettino has been constantly linked with jobs since he left Spurs, most recently the hot seats at Atletico Madrid and Manchester United.

He admitted: "I notice the rumours. All of the coaching staff accept that there are rumours."

Speculation linking him with United intensified yesterday after the Argentine was spotted alongside United's new public relations adviser Neil Ashton at Brentford's 1-1 draw with Leeds United yesterday morning (Singapore time).

British media reported that Ashton was at the game as a guest of Brentford, and not to meet Pochettino.

The Argentine, meanwhile, is a disciple of Leeds' influential manager Marcelo Bielsa.

Former Spurs, Liverpool and England midfielder Jamie Redknapp told The New Paper last week of Pochettino: "If I were United, I'd take him tomorrow... I feel that, if United are not careful, he might go somewhere else and they'll regret it."

However, former Marseille and Ireland striker Tony Cascarino believes United should look at Bielsa rather than his compatriot.

He told talkSPORT late last month: "Pochettino is flavour of the month. I'd have Bielsa over Pochettino every day of the week...

"If you were looking for a manager who has played with United's traditional aggressive, attack-minded style, Bielsa would be my first choice."

The Daily Mirror last week reported that Pochettino remains keen on managing United.

The Athletic had previously reported that a senior United official had met with the Argentine, before they made Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Jose Mourinho's permanent successor at Old Trafford after he won 14 of his 17 matches as caretaker boss.

Solskjaer's fortunes at United have nosedived since, with just 11 wins from 33 EPL matches.

United are eighth in the league and their 35 points from 25 games means they are closer to the relegation zone than third-placed Leicester City.

Football