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Barcelona do not rule out hiring Mauricio Pochettino - report

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The former Tottenham boss was once an Espanyol player and coach

Tottenham Hotspur Training and Press Conference Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

FC Barcelona have not completely ruled out signing Mauricio Pochettino despite his previous allegiance to Espanyol, ESPN reports. The former Tottenham Hotspur coach is available after being sacked by Spurs. He took them to the UEFA Champions League final last season but was let go due to a poor run. Tottenham now have José Mourinho in charge.

Pochettino had two stints with Barcelona’s crosstown rivals as a player, and then started out his managerial career coaching Espanyol. He has always maintained his affinity for Catalonia’s second-most popular team, going as far as saying he’d never join Barça. As such, Real Madrid or another club were thought to be more likely destinations.

Indeed, rumors now say Pochettino could join Bayern Munich next. In addition to those Madrid and Bayern, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are rumored destinations as well.

However this report tells us the Argentine manager is “close friends with a key member of [Barcelona’s] staff, who worked briefly with Spurs during Pochettino’s tenure.” For that reason, while his arrival to replace Ernesto Valverde seems unlikely, it should not necessarily be ruled out. The key question is whether Barcelona’s board would consider making a switch mid-season for him, or if it is strictly a matter of whether they’d go for him next summer.