Real Madrid – La Liga Possible Bernabeu future has been put on hold
Months later, Mauricio Pochettino is back in work. The Argentine was made to wait after his time at Tottenham Hotspur ended, but he has completed his return to Paris Saint-Germain after Thomas Tuchel’s dismissal was finally confirmed.
PSG are the first big European side Pochettino has taken charge of, but they weren’t the first to knock on his door and enquire about his services. The Argentine has always expressed his admiration for Real Madrid, who themselves have wondered about appointing the coach, only for things to never quite link up.
Pochettino has never been shy in admitting that he dreams of coaching Los Blancos, but things just keep getting in the way. His biggest issue has been Zinedine Zidane’s long shadow.
The dream is still there, but everything has been put on hold for now. His challenge at PSG leaves everyone else in the background, from Real Madrid and Barcelona to Monaco and Manchester United.
When they had their chance to appoint Pochettino, United opted for Jose Mourinho and then, after him, they have stuck with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Barcelona approached him during Ernesto Valverde’s crisis and after his dismissal, and then again later on after realising that Quique Setien wasn’t the solution. But Pochettino, who has an Espanyol past, had another club in his mind.
Real Madrid flirted with the idea of moving for him after Zidane’s 2018 departure, but Spurs chairman Daniel Levy asked for a lot of money to free him for his contract. Then, he sacked the coach in 2019 and kept paying him until he took over at the Parc des Princes.
That was the first time that Real Madrid went in for him, but since then there has been an expectation that he’ll sit on the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu bench one day.
Zidane came under pressure again this season, and Pochettino’s name came up, but the call was never made.
That isn’t to say that the club aren’t thinking about him, just that he wasn’t approached. In one of his first tasks in Paris, Pochettino will be an ally of Real Madrid as he meets Barcelona in the Champions League.