Mauricio Pochettino has admitted he did not receive an offer to coach La Liga giants Barcelona, while the former Tottenham boss insisted leading Real Madrid is his dream.
Pochettino was linked with Barca following Quique Setien’s sacking before the embattled Spanish powerhouse opted for Ronald Koeman after a trophy-less 2019-20 campaign.
Argentine manager Pochettino, who departed Tottenham in November last year, was asked about the Barca speculation.
“They didn’t offer me to coach Barca,” he told Cope and Marca. “I didn’t see myself with [president Josep Maria] Bartomeu.
“I did eat with Ramon Planes because we have a friendship for many years, since 2009 when he signed for Espanyol.”
Pochettino had opened the door to potentially coaching Barca, having previously suggested he would not take charge at Camp Nou due to his links with rivals Espanyol.
“I was ironic then,” Pochettino reflected. “It was my first news conference at Tottenham and they asked me about the Barca rumours. Then I answered with my irony and I think I went too far, I said what I said.
“It sounds very nice for the radical Espanyol fan but I did not want to speak for that radical fan. Nor do I have to justify any statement because no one can question my love for Espanyol.”
Pochettino has also been linked with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, Serie A champions Juventus and Inter heading into the 2020-21 season.
Thomas Tuchel remains in charge of PSG, Juve turned to Andrea Pirlo and Inter have opted to continue with Antonio Conte.
“Neither PSG, nor Juventus, nor Inter Milan [made offers in the off-season],” Pochettino added. “I did have a call from Benfica and Monaco. I have no need to lie.”
Pochettino shunned Madrid in 2018, deciding to honour his contract with Premier League side Tottenham at the time.
Madrid attempted to hire Pochettino as Zinedine Zidane’s successor and asked about Los Blancos again, the 48-year-old said: “I don’t know if I’ll ever coach Madrid, but of course it’s my dream.
“If it’s not the best it’s one of the best clubs in the world. I’m no different, everyone has it on their dream list.”
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