MAURICIO POCHETTINO has dropped a huge hint that he could take the Manchester United job in the summer – revealing he has a “very good” relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson, who he declared “means football”.
The Red Devils sacked Jose Mourinho in December and have installed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as his temporary successor.
The Norwegian is in charge until the summer having departed homeland outfit Molde to move to Old Trafford for six months.
Solskjaer has won five games from five going into a clash with Pochettino’s Tottenham on Sunday (4.30pm) but his Argentine opposite is the man who United are most likely to chase in the summer.
Pochettino has enjoyed an excellent spell as Spurs boss and while he has yet to win silverware, has earned the north London outfit three straight top-three finishes in the Premier League despite working with a smaller transfer budget than his rivals.
United are believed to want Pochettino as the man to lead their next era as they seek a return to the success of Ferguson’s 26 years in charge, in which the Scot amassed an incredible 38 trophies.
The Scot retired in 2013 and United have struggled to regain former glories despite winning several cups under David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Mourinho.
And Pochettino has teased United fans that he could be keen on the job – because he gets on so well with United legend Ferguson, who Solskjaer brought into the club’s training ground over the festive period to inspire his players.
On Ferguson’s re-involvement in the game after a recent health scare, Pochettino declared: “I think is fantastic news because he is football.
“Sir Alex means football and of course to be involved in his football club as always is fantastic news after he suffered a massive problem. To be involved again, I think for him and for Manchester, it’s a massive thing.
“I sent [my best wishes] and I cannot hide my admiration and my relationship with him. He always one of the people I admired the most. An inspiration.
“I was so lucky with [Spurs assistant manager] Jesus [Perez] to share with him a very nice lunch in London [in 2016]. After that we keep a very good relationship and of course it’s nothing to hide because we are football people and admire these kind of people like him.
“I think all the fans of Manchester United and of course for the players and for the staff always it is to have a person involved every day there is a massive impact.
“And I think he was the best manager in the world, in the history of football. And to have the possibility to see him every day is massive.
“It’s like having the big book of Larousse [an encyclopaedia], like a dictionary.
“I remember it was a treasure for me when my dad and my mum made a present to me at Christmas of Larousse, it was a book where you can find everything. And he is like an encyclopaedia of football.”
Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson believes Pochettino should take the vacant position at United.
He said: ”If I was Pochettino I would take the Manchester United job if it was offered to him.
“Manchester United have more chance of winning the league in the next five years than Tottenham. United is the biggest club in the world. It comes along once in a blue moon and it may never happen again.
“I probably could understand if he didn’t because United are a million miles away from challenging at the moment and they are a million miles behind Manchester City.
‘I understand why that would put him off, but so are Tottenham. They may only be four points behind City at the moment but they are a long way off being champions.”