Pochettino turns down Chelsea job

Former Tottenham Hotspur and Paris Saint-Ger­main head coach, Mauricio Pochettino, has reportedly rejected the chance to replace Graham Potter at Chelsea.

After being chosen by the new regime to take over from Cham­pions League winner, Thomas Tuchel, Potter got off to an impressive start to life at Stamford Bridge, having departed Brighton & Hove Albion to take on the job.

The 47-year-old went unbeaten in his first nine games in charge of the Blues, but their fortunes have since suffered a nosedive with just three wins from their last 16 in all tournaments.

Chelsea’s dire form – which has left them 10th in the Premier League table and on the brink of a last-16 Champions League exit to Borussia Dortmund – has inevitably led to questions concerning Potter’s future at the club.

While some fans have voiced their opposition to Potter con­tinuing in his role, Todd Boehly is still believed to be backing the under-fire Englishman, whose con­tract does not expire until 2027.

However, 90Min claims that other members of Chelsea’s hier­archy are not as sold on the Potter project as Boehly, and they are not confident that the 47-year-old will ignite an uptick in form.

As such, Pochettino was contacted to gauge his interest in returning to Premier League management, but the 50-year-old quickly turned down Chelsea’s advances.

Pochettino has been out of management since being sacked by PSG at the end of last season – a decision triggered by the club’s Champions League capitulation at the hands of Real Madrid.

Pochettino won the 2021-22 Ligue 1 title with four games to spare, as well as clinching success in the Coupe de France and Trophee des Champions with PSG, but his domestic triumphs were not enough to appease the Parisiens board.

While the Argentine is willing to return to the hotseat of a top European club, he has insisted that any project he oversees must tick all the right boxes, which the Chelsea job did not.

Pochettino hinted last year that he would consider another job in the Premier League, telling the press: “I miss the Premier League. I am really open. I love England and I am living between London and  Barcelona, but more in London.

“My house, my home. I love to be in England. The Premier League is the best league in the world. It’s so competitive.”

The 50-year-old managed Southampton and Tottenham in the English top flight, leading the Lily­whites to the Champions League final in the 2018-19 season before being sacked only a few months later.

Despite being ruthlessly given the boot by Daniel Levy, Pochettino is supposedly under consideration for a re-hiring, if current Spurs manager, Antonio Conte, leaves at the end of his contract this summer.

Coincidentally, Chelsea’s next Premier League fixture sees them tackle Tottenham in a London derby this Sunday, as Potter aims to end his side’s five-game losing run in all competitions. —Reuters

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