Reported Newcastle United target Mauricio Pochettino has spoken directly to the Magpies about the first-team manager’s job and is tempted, according to Tottenham Hotspur legend and close friend Ossie Ardiles.
According to a Sky Sports report from late April, the Argentine is the number one choice by the prospective new Newcastle owners to be the next manager at St James’ Park.
The report claims that they are willing to pay Pochettino £19million a year to succeed Steve Bruce at the end of the season – whenever that may be.
The 48-year-old is currently out of work, having been axed by Tottenham Hotspur late last year, but is reportedly still being paid his £8.5million-a-year-salary until he finds another job.
In addition, he is now free to join another club without his prospective employers needing to pay Spurs compensation.
“Mauricio is fine in England,” Ardiles is quoted by The Mirror as saying.
“He is linked with Newcastle United and when he spoke directly to that club there were many first-rate people involved who made him a good offer.
“Mauricio had a (contractual) relationship with Tottenham, but last Tuesday his situation was unlocked and he is free to coach.
“In this way, he will hear offers again, but Newcastle is a firm possibility to work again. He will take his time to think and wait a little for all this to happen.”
Ardiles added: “Mauricio is an absolutely top-level technician. He is one of the three best technicians in the world.
“He can manage wherever he wants. Here, or in Spain, in France or Italy. But he really likes managing in England. There are a few very large teams that can appoint him – and one of them is going to be chosen.”
Pochettino is a manager of the highest calibre with a proven track record in improving clubs – Tottenham went from a modest, often mid-table Premier League side to a title challenger and Champions League finalist, and on a shoestring budget.
If, as widely predicted, the Newcastle takeover enables the Magpies boss to make use of a huge transfer war-chest, who knows what Pochettino – a very realistic target – could achieve at St James’ Park.