Sunday 8 December 2019

Mauricio Pochettino's comments pile pressure on Solskjaer ahead of Jose Mourinho's Old Trafford return

Mauricio Pochettino and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Mauricio Pochettino and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed that he is ready to make a swift return to the game, in comments that suggest he would be open to a Premier League return this season.

Pochettino was sacked by Tottenham last month and swiftly replaced by Jose Mourinho, with the struggling team he left behind embarking on a three-game winning run under their new manager.

Now Pochettino has offered up his first comments over his future plans, with suggestions that he wants to take some time out of the game ahead of a possible return next summer quickly dismissed in an interview with Fox Sport as he spends some time back in his Argentine homeland.

"There are a lot of clubs and attractive projects for me to take on," he stated. "For the time being, the most important thing is for me to clear my head after five-and-a-half incredible seasons with Tottenham. My aim is to seek the ability to rebuild myself and get my self-motivation back.

"It is my intention to return to manage in Europe. 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.

"Now I need to be calm for a few days and see what happens. I haven't had a lot of time to digest what has happened with me.

"My first decision was to come back to Argentina, return to my home and see family and friends. My best decision was to come to Argentina to switch off for 10 days.

"But I expect to return to Europe to make decisions on my future. At my age I don't need a lot of time to recover. I am open to listen to projects put before me."

Solskjaer's position at United manager has not been helped by Pochettino's availability, with Old Trafford chiefs widely know to be big admirers of the coach who has guided Spurs into the Champions League over the past four seasons on a limited budget.

Pochettino has spoken about his admiration for United and famously had a lunch with their former manager Alex Ferguson in the summer of 2016, which fuelled speculation that he may be tempted to move to Old Trafford then.

Mourinho was appointed as United manager soon after and it would be ironic if the coach who took his job paving the way for his own move to Manchester.

While United officials have again insisted they have full faith in Solskjaer and will back him with more transfer cash in the January transfer window, a heavy defeat against Tottenham on Wednesday night would pile the pressure on the manager who signed a deal to become United's full-time boss last March.

Tottenham beat Mourinho's United 3-0 at Old Trafford last season and Solskjaer cannot afford a repeat after he oversaw the club's worst start to a season in more than 30 years.

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