Barca enters race for sacked Tottenham manager Mauricio Ponchettino
Barcelona are ready to battle Bayern Munich to appoint Mauricio Pochettino as their next coach, claims the Sun.
Pochettino is newly out of work after being sacked by Tottenham earlier this week.
But he has no shortage of suitors, with Barca interested in naming him as Ernesto Valverde’s successor should the current incumbent be moved on.
The Argentine, however, has previously stated he would not be interested in working at Camp Nou due to his affinity with Espanyol.
Poch is in the unusual position of having Europe’s top clubs forming a queue for him, despite losing his job after a poor start to the season.
Ernesto Valverde is under pressure at Barca and they will look to the ex-Espanyol manager should the LaLiga giants wield the axe.
Bayern Munich have Hansi Flick, sacked boss Niko Kovac’s former No 2, as their interim coach and want to talk to Poch, 47.
But it is Barca who are making the biggest move.
In 2017, Poch said he could not see himself managing them despite being seen with long-term friend and Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
He said: “Before being a manager, being loyal is more important. I am an Espanyol fan. It would be impossible for me to manage Arsenal.”
Manchester United and Real Madrid hope Poch does not jump back into a job as they may be interested in him at the end of the season.
While Arsenal legend Martin Keown has called on his old club to “consider Pochettino” as a replacement for under-fire Unai Emery.
Pochettino – who guided Tottenham into the Premier League’s top four in three of the last four seasons and reached last year’s Champions League final – was replaced by Jose Mourinho on Wednesday.