Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that Barcelona did not make an approach for him but admitted that he was wrong to say in the past that he would never manage the Catalan giants.
Pochettino, who has been out of work since parting ways with Tottenham almost a year ago, said back in 2018 that he would rather work in a farm back in his native Argentine than manage Barcelona due to his connections with Espanyol (AS).
The Argentine has been linked with a number of managerial posts around Europe since leaving North London and reports indicated that he was the favourite for the Barca job after Quique Setien was sacked following the club’s Champions League humiliation against Bayern Munich.
However, it was Ronald Koeman who the La Liga giants ended up appointing as their next manager and the Dutchman has had a tumultuous start to his reign, to say the least, with Lionel Messi potentially looking set for the exit door.
While clarifying that Barca did not approach him, Pochettino did hint that his previous comments about the club counted against him by making him an unpopular choice with the Barca fans.
As quoted by The Evening Standard, the Argentine said: “I think the statements made the [Barca] fans reluctant to accept me, but at no time did I receive an offer to manage Barca.
“I was wrong in the way I conveyed that it would be impossible in the future to manage Barcelona. I was a bit exaggerated by not leaving an iota of doubt.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Pochettino is perhaps not wrong to suggest that his comments back in 2017 might have cost him the Barca job. Reports indicate that the Barca board did like him but he was not a popular choice with a section of the club’s fan base owing to his Espanyol connections.
I believe he dodged a bullet by not getting the Barca job because the club is clearly in turmoil. Given the constraints that will be imposed on Koeman, it will be a very hard ask for him to rebuild the side and get them competing again. There is also the shadow of a potential Xavi return looming over the Dutchman, with the elections around the corner.
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