Pochettino met with Barcelona over manager job but wanted more time to make decision due to Espanyol ties – The Sun
MAURICIO POCHETTINO met with Barcelona to discuss becoming their manager but stalled over his links with Espanyol, it has been claimed.
The former Tottenham boss played for and managed Barca's local rivals for long spells and considers himself a fan.
Poch, 47, played for Espanyol between 1994-2001 and went on to manage the Catalonian side from 2009 to 2012 before he moved to Southampton.
And the rivalry between Barca and Espanyol meant the Argentine asked for more time to consider when approached by the Nou Camp outfit, according to prominent Spanish journalist Guillem Balague.
He tweeted: "Barcelona had been looking for a new manager for months.
"Eric Abidal (Barca's sporting director) was very impressed with Pochettino and was backed/admired by not only Ramon Planes (Eric’s right hand man) and president, as he knows Poch well, but other top directors too.
"FCB wanted to take the decision this week and Pochettino needed more time to think about it.
"It is a hard decision to take, being Espanyol fan and needing to know the project in detail.
"He wanted to talk to his people. It was all too rushed."
Poch has been linked with many top jobs – including Manchester United – since being sacked by Tottenham and replaced by Jose Mourinho in November.
Barca sacked Ernesto Valverde on Monday despite sitting top of LaLiga.
And after the 55-year-old became the first Barca boss to be sacked in 17 years, the club acted swiftly to announce the appointment of Quique Setin, 61.
Setien signed a contract to lead the club until June 2022 – and was officially unveiled at the Nou Camp on Tuesday.
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