Mauricio Pochettino is about to coach the most important game he’s ever coached. The Argentine manager has shockingly guided Tottenham Hotspur to the Champions League Final, where they will be playing to win the club’s first European trophy since winning the UEFA Cup in 1984. Spurs, of course, will be taking on another Premier League side in Liverpool for the Final in Madrid on June 1.
The job Pochettino has done at Tottenham has not gone unnoticed. The manager was reportedly a target of Manchester United before the Red Devils ultimately handed the managerial post to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on a permanent basis. Pochettino admitted at the time that the United job is certainly tempting, which sparked questions regarding his future at Tottenham.
To this point, the manager has not publicly committed to staying in his current post beyond this season. While the United job may be spoken for now, Pochettino has also spoken with admiration of both Real Madrid and Juventus in the recent past. The manager went so far as to cite his own Italian heritage prior to his team’s match against Juventus in February of 2018. He also claimed to have felt right at home in Turin.
ESPN reported this week that Pochettino knows bigger job opportunities will be there for him in the future. Still only 47, he has already become one of the more heralded managers in world football. Someone close to Pochettino told ESPN, “Mauricio has given everything to Tottenham and that has been obvious over the past five years. But he’s also extremely ambitious and he knows he could walk into virtually any job in the world after what he’s done at Spurs. No matter what happens against Liverpool in the Champions League Final, he will be at the top of every club’s wanted list and he knows that.”
Of course, it’s no coincidence that Juventus are in the market for a new manager. The 8-time reigning Serie A champions failed yet again in their quest for European glory this season, which prompted the club to dismiss Massimiliano Allegri earlier in May.
Based on what he has said in the past, it would not be a surprise if Pochettino already has an eye on the vacant Juve post. Jose Mourinho and Maurizio Sarri are other candidates of interest to Juve, but if Pochettino becomes available one would imagine he will emerge as the club’s top priority.
Pochettino has been coy when asked about his future during the run-up to the Final. When asked whether he was committed to Tottenham moving forward, he said, “Today, nothing is more important than the game we have ahead. To think about individual things is a little bit embarrassing and a shame. I am not important. It is not important what happens in the future with me. I think we have bigger things ahead to think about. I am not more important than the Champions League or the possibility to win a trophy. Rumours are rumours.”
The job Pochettino has done with Spurs is nothing short of amazing, especially when you consider the financial restraints the club has faced. Because their sparkling new stadium cost over £1 billion despite an initial price tag of £400 million, Tottenham have had to take a frugal approach to transfers over the past couple of years. Other than a move to acquire Lucas Moura from PSG in January of 2018, Pochettino’s squad has remained largely unchanged over the past 2 seasons.
Pochettino is under contract with Spurs through the 2022-23 campaign, but there is a very real chance that he manages his final game with the club in the Champions League Final. Despite the fact that he has yet to win a trophy with Tottenham, it’s very clear that the Argentine manager is one of the hottest commodities on the managerial market these days. If a massive club like Juventus come calling, it will be incredibly difficult for Pochettino to turn down the opportunity.