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'I'm ready and waiting for a new challenge' - Mauricio Pochettino puts Premier League clubs on high alert

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Mauricio Pochettino was sacked by Tottenham last November (Adam Davy/PA)

Mauricio Pochettino was sacked by Tottenham last November (Adam Davy/PA)

Mauricio Pochettino was sacked by Tottenham last November (Adam Davy/PA)

Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed that he wants his next job to be in the Premier League and his comments will prick the ears of top English clubs beyond Manchester United.

The Argentine, who led Tottenham Hotspur to last season's Champions League final, has been out of work since losing his job with the North London club last November.

"To be honest, I would love to work in the Premier League," he told the In the Pink podcast. "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."

Manchester United have been linked with a move for Pochettino time and again in recent years, yet Old Trafford may not be the only possible destination for a 47-year-old who remains one of the most respected tacticians despite his hasty fall from grace at Tottenham.

Pochettino and his coaching staff have strong connections with the hierarchy at Manchester City and amid fresh rumours that Pep Guardiola could be lured away from the club at the end of this season, two vacancies could emerge in Manchester next summer.

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

AFP via Getty Images

Guardiola has been linked with a move to take over at Juventus, while rumours persist that he has been lined up to play a prominent role with host nation Qatar ahead of the 2022 World Cup finals.

Pochettino's assistant Jesus Perez has a close bond with City Sporting Director Txiki Begiristain and if they were searching for a replacement for Guardiola in the coming months, an established team with a track record of relative success in the Premier League would have to be an attractive option for the outgoing Premier League champions.

The future of Guardiola may be dependent on the outcome of his efforts to win the Carabao Cup, FA Cup and Champions League in the coming months, with the Spaniard giving broad hints that he will make a decision on his long-term future when quizzed on the issue.

"This is my fourth season, next season will be the fifth because I try to stay next season. It is a long time," he said last month.

"I am incredibly good here. I have to see if I deserve a new contract. The level has increased a lot and expectations are higher and we have to see if we can handle it. It is not just up to me. We have time to think about it in the future."

They were comments that confirmed Guardiola is open-minded about where he will be by the end of 2020 and if it does come down to a straight battle between United and City to land the coach who guided Tottenham to four successive Champions League qualifications on a limited budget, a switch to the Etihad Stadium would appear to be the more enticing option.

However, Pochettino has often spoken about his admiration for United and famously dined with their former manager Alex Ferguson shortly before Jose Mourinho was appointed at Old Trafford in the summer of 2016, fuelling rumours of a possible move to the club.

While, United appear to be committed to supporting manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for now, history suggests that managers who fail to guide the club into the Champions League do not last long in their post at Old Trafford.

In addition, Pochettino's proven track record of working with young players and moulding them into stars would appear to make him a perfect fit for the club's current policy in the transfer market.

Whatever happens next, Pochettino looks certain to be a manager in demand later this year and even though Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are among the clubs believed to be eyeing up his services, he looks set to kick-start his story in the Premier League.

Online Editors