Mauricio Pochettino has reopened the door to the FC Barcelona manager’s job, after backtracking on controversial comments he had previously made regarding the role.

A club legend at Barça’s cross-city rivals Espanyol both as a player and coach, the Argentine once famously said that he would return to his farm in his homeland before taking over the reins at the Camp Nou.

“I would never train Barcelona or Arsenal because I am tied to Tottenham. I grew up at Newell’s [Old Boys] and I would never train Rosario Central. This is my decision. I would prefer to work on my farm in Argentina than to go and work in certain places,” were his exact words in 2018.

These comments were of course made while the 48-year-old was still at the helm for Spurs in the Premier League
. And though leading them to an unprecedented Champions League final despite not making a single signing in the previous summer or January transfer window, Pochettino was given his marching orders late last year.

This meant that when Barça were looking to oust Ernesto Valverde at the turn of the decade, Pochettino was approached by director of football Eric Abidal and his right-hand man Ramon Planes but failed to respond in time.

Due to his lack of enthusiasm, fourth choice Quique Setien was swiftly hired, but in fresh comments made to El Pais, Pochettino has backtracked and made himself a candidate to succeed the current under-fire tactician.

“I was in Barcelona that year and I met [president, Josep Maria] Bartomeu in a bar,” he explained in an interview this weekend. “We greeted each other because we were taking the children to the same school and we were talking for five minutes. That generated a rumor that set off alarms because there were more teams that wanted us, and when they asked me [about becoming Barça boss] I wanted to settle it drastically.” 

“I did not want to disrespect Barcelona. I could have said things differently. Espanyol has made a name for me. But I’m not arrogant and I didn’t like making a statement like that. Maybe now I wouldn’t because in life you never know what will happen,” Pochettino concluded.

Bartomeu today backing Setien once again in his own sitdown chat with SPORT, the news will still be music to the ears of many Culers who would enjoy a world-class shotcaller of Pochettino’s caliber in the dugout.


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