Mauricio Pochettino will be free to speak to interested clubs this month when his six-month gardening leave from Tottenham Hotspur ends.
Pochettino left Spurs on November 19 and any club trying to hire him earlier would have been forced to negotiate his release with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, which would have been expensive.
Levy immediately hired Jose Mourinho, but Spurs were wary of their former manager coming back to haunt them with a Premier League rival this season.
The coronavirus lockdown means that Pochettino could take another job before the end of the campaign. However, that is rated as unlikely, with the Argentine expected to seek a return in the close season, when he would be able to prepare fully for 2020-21.
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Real Madrid have tried in the past to hire Pochettino and were considering a new approach before the pandemic. It might be that the financial impact of the shutdown makes them more reticent about paying compensation to Zinedine Zidane and replacing him with Pochettino.
Manchester United, also long-standing admirers, are not looking to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Bayern Munich had shown an interest, but Hansi Flick, who had been placed in charge until the end of the season, recently signed a new three-year contract. (© Daily Telegraph, London)