Mauricio Pochettino responds directly to Arsenal rumours

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Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has not explicitly ruled out the possibility of taking over at north London rivals Arsenal and says he will take time to assess his next move.

The Argentine was axed as Spurs manager last month – with the club sitting in 14th place in the Premier League table at the time – and promptly replaced by Jose Mourinho, who won his first three matches in charge.

Despite his links to the lilywhite half of north London, Pochettino is one of the names in the frame to replace Unai Emery as the Gunners look to bring in a new permanent manager.

Pochettino is currently enjoying a well-earned rest back in Argentina but was tracked down by TyC Sports on Friday and asked specifically about the vacant Arsenal job.

He has always been notoriously coy with the press and did not rule himself out of the running for the Arsenal job – though he couldn’t resist a little smirk when the Gunners were mentioned.

Asked about the job vacancies at both Bayern Munich and Arsenal, Pochettino responded by saying: ‘It’s important to have a moment of calm to lower the decibels and find the energy to take on a new project, and we’ll see where that is.’

On what he will do next, he added: ‘I’m going to spend a few days here [in Rosario] with my family and friends, and then I’ll return to London next week.’

Pochettino returned to his homeland after being let go by Tottenham and was a guest of honour as he watched his old club Newell’s Old Boys take on River Plate.

The 47-year-old coach once famously ruled out ever taking charge of Arsenal due to his ties to Spurs, though that stance may have softened following his sacking just six months on from reaching the Champions League final.

Speaking in 2018, he said: ‘I am never going to be manager of Barcelona or Arsenal because I am so identified with Tottenham and Espanyol.

I grew up in Newell’s Old Boys and will never manage Rosario Central. That is my decision because I prefer to work on my farm in Argentina than in some places.’

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