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.
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.