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Pochettino is once again in the Old Trafford frame

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Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino

PA

Mauricio Pochettino

As speculation grows about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's future at Manchester United, Mauricio Pochettino is once again being mentioned as a possible replacement in the Old Trafford hotseat.

The former Southampton and Tottenham boss feels ready to return to management, having left Spurs in November 2019. Here are five things you might not know about the Argentinian coach.

What has Pochettino said about a possible return to the game?

Having taken some time out, the 48-year-old is now hungry for his next challenge.

"I need to wait for the right project. I will not close any door," Pochettino said on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football.

"I am waiting to feel which is the right project to take."

Whether or not that turns out to be the unenviable task of trying to help take United back to the top of the game remains to be seen.

Why did he leave Tottenham?

Pochettino was relieved of his duties, along with coaching staff Jesus Perez, Miguel D'Agostino and Antoni Jimenez, on November 19, 2019 - bringing an end to a five-and-a-half-year spell at the club.

During that time he delivered four successive top-four finishes in the Premier League, which included two title challenges and a run to the 2019 Champions League final which saw them beaten by Liverpool in Madrid.

However, chairman Daniel Levy grew impatient with a decline in Premier League form - a 7-2 humiliation against Bayern Munich in the Champions League and being dumped out of the League Cup by League Two Colchester all added fuel ahead of Pochettino's dismissal.

What is Pochettino's backstory?

Before moving into management, the former Argentina defender was mostly remembered for the foul on Michael Owen which gave away a penalty, scored by David Beckham, in England's 1-0 2002 World Cup group stage win in Sapporo.

Pochettino also played for Espanyol and Paris St Germain before retiring aged 34. He moved into coaching at the Barcelona-based club, becoming manager in January 2009. The Premier League came calling in January 2013 with a switch to Southampton.

Saints finished the campaign in eighth place, with a move to White Hart Lane following ahead of the 2014-15 campaign, helping Spurs step out of Arsenal's shadow to bring a feel-good factor back to White Hart Lane.

Does he like to park the bus?

Far from it. Pochettino's Spurs side gave their fans a swashbuckling European adventure and proved they could compete on the home front.

Spurs secured a best league finish since 1963 when runners-up to Chelsea in 2017.

The team played with a high-intensity, energetic and fast style, which helped them also reach two FA Cup semi-finals as well as the 2015 League Cup final, which ended in a 2-0 loss to the Blues.

If Pochettino does not end up at Old Trafford, where else might he go?

The Argentinian coach's stock continued to rise during his time at Spurs, with the likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester United all reportedly ready to make a move if required.

Should a vacancy not arise at Old Trafford, Pochettino's name would very much be in the frame again were Barcelona to decide to cut short the Ronald Koeman project.


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