Mauricio Pochettino has hinted that he would have been willing to consider taking the top job at Arsenal, while admitting that he is “open” to a swift return to the Premier League.
The Argentine spent five-and-a-half years at Tottenham before being relieved of his managerial duties on November 21, following a poor start to the 2019-20 season.
Pochettino transformed Spurs into title contenders and Champions League finalists on a shoestring budget, but failed to get his hands on any major silverware, which ultimately led to club chairman Daniel Levy’s decision to make a change in the dugout.
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A number of top clubs have been linked with Pochettino since he left Tottenham, including Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, while he continues to be touted as a potential successor for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United.
Even Arsenal were credited with an interest in the 47-year-old after they sacked Unai Emery last month, but Manchester City assistant Mikel Arteta ended up filling that vacancy after weeks of speculation.
During his first full interview since being dismissed by Spurs, Pochettino has confessed that he is “open” to all opportunities, suggesting he might have contemplated succeeding Emery at Emirates Stadium had he been approached.
“In football, you never know what can happen in the future. you need to be only free and open to listen and anything can happen,” Pochettino said while speaking in Doha as a guest of Qatar’s Supreme Committee ahead of the 2022 World Cup. “I am a coach and I would love to be in in the best place that you can.
“Now is a moment to recharge the batteries. The Premier League is one of the best leagues in the world. But it’s not only the Premier League, there are a lot of leagues in the world that can be exciting or a very good challenge.”
The former Spurs boss added on his time in north London: “Five-and-a-half years working in Tottenham was a very enjoyable time, a very nice journey and I only keep good memories,” Pochettino said.
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“The journey was amazing. I don’t need to talk about what happened, only that it was an honour for me to be at Tottenham.
“I think what happened in the past, happened in the past and now moving on is the best for everyone. That is happening in life and happening in football.”
Pochettino went on to describe how he is spending his free time while he searches for his next role in management, expressing his belief that “football is going to find a way to put us into the race again”.
“I tried to enjoy relaxing, tried to recharge the batteries,” Pochettino said. “This type of thing helps us to again to feel all the energy. We’ll see what happens. I am a person that is always open to listen to people. And of course, we’ll see about the future.
“But at the moment, I only try to get relaxed, spend time with my friends, my family, the things that before were impossible to do. And we’ll see. Football is going to find a way to put us into the race again.”