Juventus have decided their Maurizio Sarri experiment has not worked and for the second time in as many seasons the Bianconeri are on the hunt for a new head coach.

Sarri was the man chosen to succeed Massimiliano Allegri ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, an appointment that seems a lifetime ago in a season interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The former Napoli boss steered Juve to a ninth straight Serie A title, but the unconvincing nature of that triumph meant the Scudetto alone was never likely to be enough to convince the club's hierarchy Sarri would be the man to achieve the ultimate goal of winning the Champions League.

They fell short in Europe on Friday night, with Juve failing to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit to Ligue 1 side Lyon in the Champions League last 16, a 2-1 win on the night meaning they exited on the away goals ruling.

With Sarri gone, we take a look at some of the prime contenders to take over at the Italian champions.

MAURICIO POCHETTINO

An easy link, or a case of ideal timing? Pochettino has been out of work since being sacked by Tottenham in November 2019. That relationship soured towards the end but should not overshadow his achievements with Spurs, including taking them to a Champions League final. The Argentine coach was also linked with the Bianconeri a year ago, though now there is no need to negotiate a compensation package with another club. With a shorter turnaround than usual before a new season, the 48-year-old is available for Juve, should they want someone in place quickly.

SIMONE INZAGHI

Sarri was let go despite winning Serie A, but there was a period when Lazio looked like ending their Scudetto dominance. Former striker Inzaghi led the Rome side to the Coppa Italia last year and has twice thwarted Juve in the Supercoppa Italiana in his four years at the helm. Although their title challenge fell away after the restart, Inzaghi earned Lazio a spot in the Champions League proper for the first time since 2007-08.

ZINEDINE ZIDANE

In his first full season back in the Santiago Bernabeu hotseat, the France great led Real Madrid to a first LaLiga title since the 2016-17 campaign. But after being knocked out of the Champions League last 16 by Manchester City and with Madrid's reputation for chaos, Zidane's future is perhaps not 100 per cent locked in. It would still be a huge surprise to see Zidane depart the Spanish capital, though if he did, perhaps a return to Juve – where he starred in his playing days before joining Madrid – may be tempting. With three straight Champions League wins to his name from 2016 to 2018, his proven pedigree may appeal to Juve who are so desperate to land Europe's most coveted prize.

ANTONIO CONTE

Could Juventus turn to the man who sparked their run of nine successive Serie A titles? A once mighty midfield force for the Bianconeri, coach Conte led Juventus to three straight Scudetti before leaving to become Italy boss in 2014. After spells with the Azzurri and Chelsea, Conte has wound up at Inter, so it might take an audacious raid on their Serie A rivals for Juventus to be reunited with their former boss. Yet amid mixed fortunes in his first year at San Siro, there are some who think Conte could be on the lookout for a new job sooner rather than later.

PAULO SOUSA

A double winner with Juve in 1994-95 and a member of the team that won the Champions League a season later, Sousa has the advantage of a prior connection with the club but should be considered an outside shot. He has enjoyed a nomadic coaching career that has included stops at Leicester City, Swansea City, Basel and Fiorentina but has failed to inspire in his current post at Bordeaux, where his win percentage is just 30.2.

Will Manchester United sign Jadon Sancho or not?

That is the question dominating headlines as United reportedly negotiate with Borussia Dortmund.

This transfer saga is one to watch.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED READY TO END SANCHO PURSUIT

Manchester United are threatening to walk away from a deal to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to reports in England.

Sancho has been tipped to swap Dortmund for United, with Bild claiming a lucrative five-year contract has been agreed as the Bundesliga outfit insist on a €120million (£108m) fee.

But Goal, Sky Sports and The Mirror say United are ready to pursue alternatives of Dortmund do not lower their demands.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Guardian reports Leicester City are trying to sign Francisco Trincao from Barcelona. Leicester have proposed a two-season loan deal with an obligation to buy for £45m (€50m). Trincao is preparing to link up with Barca after the LaLiga giants signed the 20-year-old from Braga in January.

- Premier League champions Liverpool are eyeing a move for Norwich City left-back  Jamal Lewis, says The Mirror. Lewis impressed in 2019-20 as Norwich were relegated and Liverpool are looking to wrap up a £10m deal.

- Gianluca Di Marzio claims Tottenham right-back Serge Aurier is open to joining Serie A side Milan.

- According to Tuttomercatoweb, Juventus are lining up possible replacements for under-fire head coach Maurizio Sarri. Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi, Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini and Luciano Spalletti have all been linked.

-  Aston Villa are aiming to keep star captain and rumoured United target Jack Grealish by offering a new contract, reports The Sun.

- Linked with United , Everton and Napoli, France Bleu Nord claims Arsenal are leading the race for Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes.

- Is Federico Chiesa set for Old Trafford? La Nazione reports United have made a €55m (£49m) offer for the Fiorentina forward, who has also been linked to Inter, Juve and Chelsea .

- Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake is poised to complete his move to Manchester City. Fabrizio Romano reports there is a total agreement and a medical will take place in the next couple of days.

Memphis Depay has links to Manchester United and he might be able to help out his former club.

Depay spent two years at United but struggled before leaving for Ligue 1 outfit Lyon in 2017.

The Netherlands international has since flourished in France, and he could now play a role in United bringing Jadon Sancho to Manchester.

 

TOP STORY – DORTMUND WANT DEPAY AS SANCHO REPLACEMENT

Manchester United's bid to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho could hinge on Lyon captain Memphis Depay, according to The Sun.

Sancho has been tipped to leave Bundesliga side Dortmund for Premier League giants United in a blockbuster transfer this off-season.

Former United forward Depay has emerged as a possible replacement for Sancho at Dortmund and is reportedly the key to the Red Devils prising the England international to Old Trafford.

 

ROUND-UP

- Could Antonio Conte leave Inter after just one season? The Inter head coach took aim at the club after their final game of the Serie A season – a 2-0 win over Atalanta on Saturday to secure second spot behind Juventus. Conte claimed neither he nor his players were protected by the club amid criticism. Now, Sky Sport Italia, SportMediaset, La Gazzetta dello Sport, Tuttosport and Corriere dello Sport claim the damage is irreparable. With Conte facing an uncertain future, former Juve head coach Massimiliano Allegri and ex-Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino have emerged as possible replacements.

- Le10Sport reports Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wants Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele to join the Gunners. Dembele has been linked with a move away from the LaLiga giants, who are reportedly trying to raise transfer funds through sales. Aubameyang himself has been linked to Barca, as well as Paris Saint-Germain and United previously.

Milan are ready to sell Lucas Paqueta, claims Calciomercato. Linked to PSG previously, Serie A rivals Fiorentina are interested in the Brazilian attacker and an exchange involving Viola star defender Nikola Milenkovic could take place.

- According to the Telegraph, Sevilla defender Diego Carlos is at the top of Arsenal's transfer wish list. Premier League rivals Manchester City and Liverpool have also been credited with interest.

- AS Diario says Real Madrid have a clear plan of when they want to pursue their transfer targets amid the coronavirus pandemic. Reluctant to spend after winning LaLiga and in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, Madrid are focusing on 2021 – PSG's Kylian Mbappe at the top of the list. Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga is also wanted next year, while Dortmund forward Erling Haaland is a 2022 target.

Mauricio Pochettino feels no regret over his decision to honour his Tottenham contract and shun Real Madrid in 2018, but did reveal frustration at a perceived lack of "support" from the Spurs board.

Pochettino spent five years with Spurs after joining from Southampton in 2014 and turned the team into Premier League top-four regulars and Champions League finalists.

But a difficult start to the 2019-20 season led to his dismissal in November last year, with Spurs bringing in Jose Mourinho as his replacement.

Pochettino previously had the opportunity to leave on his own terms in 2018, when Real Madrid attempted to hire him as Zinedine Zidane's successor, but he opted to stay put.

In the short term it proved a wise decision, as he went on to guide Spurs to their first ever Champions League final and Madrid sacked Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari in the same campaign, eventually persuading Zidane to return in March 2019.

But within a few months of Spurs' Champions League defeat to Liverpool, the club's outlook was much gloomier and Pochettino rued not being shown more support by chairman Daniel Levy and the board.

"I was happy at Tottenham and I signed a contract," Pochettino told El Pais when asked if he regretted not joining Madrid when the opportunity arose.

"And we [his staff and Spurs] finished very well, the relationship is impeccable. I always say, without false humility, that we too made mistakes that led to what happened, although we did expect a little more support or reassurance to reverse the situation.

"But the club line was going another way and there was wear; respite was needed from both sides.

"We work in a result-led environment where it seems that all the things that have a good result are the ones that continue. But, how do you measure what works or not?

"Only the one who wins or the one who exceeds expectations? After the Champions League final, four years in the top four, two years without signings ... a different management strategy was needed.

"Sometimes the vision of a coaching staff is not accepted by the club management. We knew what could happen.

"You need to fall, be down to then go up, but Tottenham made the decision to separate us after five and a half years. I understand that it is a long time."

Mauricio Pochettino has seemingly opened the door to potentially coaching Barcelona after expressing regret for showing them "disrespect" with comments he made in 2018.

Pochettino's managerial career is most synonymous with Tottenham, where he spent five years until 2019, but Espanyol is where he first made his name and spent most of his playing days.

Across two spells as a player, Pochettino represented Espanyol for just shy of 10 years and then became the club's head coach in 2009, three years after retiring with Los Periquitos.

It was this association that was often referenced by Spanish football commentators and columnists when suggesting Pochettino would not coach Espanyol's rivals Barcelona.

Pochettino also expressed reticence to such an idea on several occasions, but most recently in 2018 when he claimed he would never coach Barca, Arsenal or Rosario Central due to his close ties to Espanyol, Spurs and Newell's Old Boys.

"I would prefer to work on my farm in Argentina than go to work in certain places," he said.

But he has now backtracked on that grand statement.

"I have to explain it well," he told El Pais. "I was in Barcelona that year and I met [Barca president, Josep Maria] Bartomeu in a bar.

"We greeted each other because we were taking the children to the same school and we were talking for five minutes. That generated a rumour that set off alarms because there were more teams that wanted us.

"When they [reporters] asked me [about the meeting], I wanted to settle it drastically. I didn't want to disrespect Barcelona.

"You can say things differently. Espanyol has made a name for me, but I'm not arrogant and I didn't like making a statement like that.

"Maybe now I wouldn't because in life you never know what will happen."

Pochettino has been out of a job since November last year when he was sacked by Spurs, just a few months after leading the club to the Champions League final.

Barca are currently coached by Quique Setien, but following his failure to retain the LaLiga title after replacing Ernesto Valverde earlier this year, reports suggest he must win the Champions League just to keep his job.

Manchester City are set to make a splash in the transfer market and defence is the area in the spotlight.

City struggled defensively in the absence of injured star Aymeric Laporte following Vincent Kompany's exit, while there are doubts over John Stones' future in Manchester.

Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly and Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake are reportedly high on Pep Guardiola's wish list as he attempts to strengthen his squad after watching Liverpool coast to the Premier League title.

 

TOP STORY – CITY NOTIFY NAPOLI OF KOULIBALY INTENT

Manchester City have informed Napoli they are ready to make an offer for star defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to Sky Sport Italia.

Pep Guardiola has set his sights on Koulibaly, who has also been linked to the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

City are willing to bid €65million (£58m) but Napoli are still holding out for €100m (£90m).

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying in Manchester and Sky Sports says City are in talks with Bournemouth over the signing of another defender – Nathan Ake. The Guardian claims City are poised to beat neighbours United and Chelsea to the Netherlands international.

- Sky Germany reports Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz has agreed terms with Chelsea as he moves closer to arriving at Stamford Bridge. Havertz has been linked to Madrid, United, Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Barcelona but he appears set to join Chelsea. Win Sports TV journalist Pipe Sierra, meanwhile, claims Chelsea and Leverkusen have agreed an €85m (£77m) fee plus €15m (£13.5m) in bonuses.

Juventus are eyeing former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino as a possible replacement for head coach Maurizio Sarri, according to La Stampa.

- The Daily Mail says Southampton are set to sign Real Valladolid defender Mohammed Salisu. The 21-year-old has reportedly attracted interest from United and Atletico Madrid.

Theo Hernandez has no plans to leave Milan amid interest from Ligue 1 champions PSG, reports Calciomercato. Hernandez is enjoying a fine season with a resurgent Rossoneri team under Stefano Pioli.

- Gianluca Di Marzio claims there is a €60m agreement between Napoli and Lille for Victor Osimhen but the Serie A outfit still has to resolve matters with the forward's new agent.

Liverpool are reportedly getting closer to signing Thiago Alcantara, while Kai Havertz knows what he wants.

Thiago has continued to be linked with a move to the Premier League champions amid uncertainty over his future at Bayern Munich.

A switch to Anfield could be getting closer.

 

TOP STORY – KLOPP APPROVES OF LIVERPOOL MOVE FOR THIAGO

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has approved a move for Bayern midfielder Thiago, according to Sport Bild.

Thiago, 29, is out of contract at the Bundesliga club next year and reportedly wants a move to Liverpool.

However, the Premier League champions are apparently only willing to pay £23million (€25.4m), well short of Bayern's asking price of £36m (€39.7m).

ROUND-UP

- Havertz looks likely to leave Bayer Leverkusen this close season. Kicker says the Germany international wants a move in the upcoming transfer window amid strong links to Chelsea. According to Sport Bild, Leverkusen still want around £90.6m (€100m) for Havertz but are prepared to accept add-ons and bonuses.

- Mauricio Pochettino may be nearing a return to management. The Telegraph reports the former Tottenham boss is on the shortlist of candidates at Juventus and Inter should the Serie A clubs sack Maurizio Sarri or Antonio Conte respectively.

- Jude Bellingham is close to completing his move to Borussia Dortmund. Sky Sports claims the Birmingham City teenager has completed his medical at the Bundesliga club.

- Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli seems to be catching the eye. CalcioMercato reports Juventus are interested in the 22-year-old.

- Staying in Italy and CalcioMercato says Inter and Napoli are interested in Milan midfielder Franck Kessie.

- Manchester United are reportedly set to land a Real Madrid youngster. Alvaro Fernandez, 17, has agreed to a four-year deal with United, according to AS.

Real Madrid or Manchester United? 

The two European giants appear to be the likeliest options for Jadon Sancho, who continues to be linked with a move away from Borussia Dortmund. 

Sancho has been tipped to make the move to Old Trafford but the England international could be set to grace the Santiago Bernabeu instead. 

 

TOP STORY – MADRID AND UNITED FIGHTING OVER SANCHO

Real Madrid and Manchester United are going head-to-head to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to Le10 Sport.

Sancho has been tipped to leave Dortmund for United, though Madrid, Chelsea, Liverpool, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have all emerged as possible destinations.

Zinedine Zidane reportedly wants to bring Sancho to Madrid as Dortmund demand a huge fee.

 

ROUND-UP

- Could Sergio Aguero and Milan Skriniar be set to swap clubs? Calciomercato reports Inter are eyeing Manchester City star Aguero in a deal that would see Nerazzurri defender Skriniar move in the opposite direction. Inter could be in the market for a forward as Barca eye Lautaro Martinez, while Pep Guardiola's City are desperate to bolster their defence.

- There has been no decision on David Alaba's future, according to Bild journalist Christian Falk. The Bayern Munich star has been linked to City, Juventus, Chelsea and PSG.

Mauricio Pochettino is in talks to take over Portuguese giants Benfica, Record says. Pochettino has been out of work since he was sacked by Tottenham in November.

- Calciomercato claims Milan's hierarchy will confront Mino Raiola in the next 48 hours to try to finalise a new contract for star goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Arsenal have made an offer for Levante midfielder Enis Bardhi, reports Onda Cero. Fiorentina and an unnamed Bundesliga club are also interested.

Barca and Juve are expected to announce the swap deal involving Arthur and Miralem Pjanic on Monday after undergoing medicals, according to widespread speculation. Arthur will join Juve, while Pjanic is set to replace the Brazilian at Barca.

Mauricio Pochettino believes no team has had a bigger impact upon English football than the Southampton side he coached for a season and a half from January 2013.

Pochettino remains one of the most highly regarded tacticians in the game after leaving Tottenham last November.

Exactly a year ago, his Spurs team lost 2-0 to Liverpool in the Champions League final.

Jurgen Klopp's men have gone on to dominate the 2019-20 Premier League season and Pochettino suggested the high-octane takes on football put forward by the German and Pep Guardiola at Manchester City were proved to be viable in the English game by his initial excursion at St Mary's.

"Football in England changed with that Southampton team of 2013-14, there is no other team that had as big an impact in changing the mindset,” Pochettino told Guillem Balague's Talking Football show on LaLiga TV.

“We arrived at a club with a president like Nicola Cortese who gave us what we needed to create something unique in English football. Our ability to adapt to a completely different environment was incredible.

"We found a group of players who wanted to learn from the experiences we brought from Spanish football, and with the quality to play a different style of football to that which everyone in English football was used to.

"Young players started to appear, and people started to trust in young players, also in the English national team."

Victories over Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea were high points as Pochettino eased Southampton away from relegation trouble in 2012-13, before steering them to an eighth-place finish the following season.

Luke Shaw and Jay Rodriguez made their breakthroughs with England, while fellow Three Lions internationals Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Nathaniel Clyne would go on to join Liverpool along with Dejan Lovren.

Southampton took their astute punt on Pochettino after he began his coaching career in impressive fashion at Espanyol, where he believes he had a similarly transformative effect.

"At Espanyol, we were the first coaching staff who started to teach exercises to bring the ball out from the back," he said.

"The facts are there. Just watch any game from around 2010 and 2011, the ball is played out from the goal. When previously it was always hit long.

"We started with that, and many people are a bit surprised. Everyone talks of Barcelona, Madrid, Milan.

"No, no, it was Espanyol, with Ernesto Galan, Jordi Amat, Raul Rodriguez, David Lopez, Didac Vila, Victor Ruiz, Raul Baena, Juan Forlin, Javi Marquez.

"Many of those players grew up with a style of play and philosophy different from modern football played today."

Mauricio Pochettino has a "good offer" on the table from Newcastle United and the move is "a firm possibility", according to Ossie Ardiles. 

Pochettino has been out of management since he was sacked by Tottenham in November, just five months after leading the London club to the Champions League final. 

The former Argentina international has repeatedly been linked with Real Madrid and Manchester United in recent seasons, yet Zinedine Zidane and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appear secure in their respective roles. 

An appointment at Newcastle has instead been suggested in recent weeks ahead of potential new ownership, with the Tyneside club reportedly close to a £300million takeover led by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund. 

Newcastle head coach Steve Bruce has insisted he would like the opportunity to play a part in the new era, yet Pochettino has spoken of the possibility of staying in England and managing a club outside of the established 'top six' in the Premier League. 

Indeed, Ardiles - a former Tottenham player and Newcastle manager - suggests his friend and compatriot is now considering an offer after his period of gardening leave came to an end. 

"Mauricio is fine in England," Ardiles told the Mirror. "He is linked with Newcastle United. 

"And when he spoke directly to that club, there were many first-rate people involved who made him a good offer.

"Mauricio had a [contractual] relationship with Tottenham, but last Tuesday his situation was unlocked and he is free to coach.

"In this way, he will hear offers again, but Newcastle is a firm possibility to work again. He will take his time to think and wait a little for all this to happen."

Former Magpies boss Rafael Benitez and ex-Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri have also been suggested as ambitious appointments at St James' Park.

Former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said he is open to returning to the Premier League and managing a team outside of the top six amid links to Newcastle United.

Pochettino was sacked by Tottenham in November following a difficult start to the 2019-20 campaign, despite leading Spurs to last season's Champions League final.

The 48-year-old – previously linked to Manchester United and Real Madrid – has emerged as a target for Newcastle and their prospective Saudi-backed owners.

"I love England," Pochettino told Sky Sports News. "My idea is to keep living in London but at the same time, I am open to different countries, to listen and see what happens.

"I am ready and we are a much better coaching staff now. We have learnt a lot from our experiences at Espanyol, Southampton and Tottenham. We have a lot to provide to the people that will trust in us in the future."

Pochettino added: "I need to behave in the way that I did on my first day as a coach. There are two things that are most important - one is the people, the fans that are behind every club. That is the structure that keeps alive all the companies that provide the entertainment that is football. The other is the ideas of the clubs.

"Every single club and company have different cultures, different philosophies, different ways of working. They all have different plans for success.

"To be successful at one club you need to win the Champions League or Premier League, but for others it is to finish in the top four or six. For Tottenham, it was to build a new stadium and at the same time create a team to compete and cut the gap to the top four.

"Every single club has different aims and you as a coaching staff need to stick to these ideas. In the end, when we are waiting for a new offer, and we are capable of providing what a club expects from us, we are going to be very happy."

"The problem is which clubs are top six?" he replies. "The top six always changes. Tottenham is not in the top six, Arsenal is not in the top six.

"You need to respect all the clubs. All the clubs are working so hard and investing money. Every season clubs have ambition to be top six or top four. I don't think you can underestimate any club."

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Pochettino said: "We are going to live a completely different era in football that we need to discover. How are these clubs or companies, because that's what they are, going to be after this virus hopefully disappears? It's a big question mark.

"That's why it's so difficult to know what project is going to be the right project. We are a coaching staff that are very receptive to listen to all the projects, all the people. We can learn from every single conversation and maybe we can see a motivation to go with them."

Mauricio Pochettino is happy Jose Mourinho replaced him as Tottenham boss.

Tottenham sacked Pochettino in November, with the team that reached the Champions League final in the 2018-19 season sitting 14th in the Premier League.

Mourinho was drafted in as his replacement but has struggled for consistency despite lifting Spurs to eighth, overseeing elimination from the FA Cup and Champions League before the coronavirus pandemic brought the campaign to a halt.

Asked if he felt any resentment towards Mourinho, Pochettino said: "No. Look, with Jose, we know each other for a long time."

During his time in charge of Espanyol, Pochettino was linked to the Real Madrid post held by Mourinho.

Ahead of a meeting between their sides, the Argentine responded to questions about the reports by saying: "My kids are sleeping in Espanyol pyjamas every night so it's very difficult for me to think about changing clubs."

It proved to be the start of a warm relationship, with Mourinho showing his gratitude by presenting Pochettino with a gift ahead of the match.

Pochettino said: "It was a very nice bottle of French red wine for me and two Real Madrid kits, Jose says: 'Okay, these are for your kids to wear from now on.'

"We have kept a good relationship since then and I am so happy he is at Tottenham, replacing me.

"I am happy as well to have left the club in the condition that we left it and for sure he is very grateful for the way that we helped to build the club, which is now his club."

Pochettino added: "I always think I'd replace him. He was at Real Madrid. I say: 'Oh, maybe one day I can take your place at Real Madrid.' But look at how life works out. He has taken my place at Tottenham. Unbelievable, eh?"

Failing to guide Tottenham to Champions League glory still rankles with the 48-year-old, who felt they were the superior side despite losing 2-0 to Liverpool in Madrid.

"We were much better than Liverpool and maybe we deserved a better result but finals are about winning," Pochettino said.

"It's not about to deserve or not to deserve. No one is prepared to concede in the Champions League final like we did after 30 seconds and that changed everything, all the emotions.

"It is difficult to prepare a team for that happening. I was so disappointed afterwards. It was difficult to stop crying, to stop feeling bad."

Pochettino soon became aware that it would be tough to build towards further success with Spurs thereafter.

"I knew that after five years at the club and with the way we were working and all the things that happened, it was going to be difficult," Pochettino said.

"It changed a little bit in our minds the possibility to stay open to design another plan or a strategy to build again, a different chapter. A different project should be difficult for us to maintain, to keep improving."

However, he harbours no ill will towards Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy for relieving him off his duties after a tough start to 2019-20.

Asked whether he wished the Champions League final had been his last game with Spurs, he replied: "No, because my commitment with the club, with Daniel and, of course, with the players and the fans was massive.

"I said to Daniel that we finished in the way that no one wanted but the end … it needed to happen. If not, our relationship will continue for ever! And maybe that's no good for the club or for us.

"When the decision came, we needed to move on. The decision for us to be hired was fantastic and when the decision is not good for you, you need to show the respect. Always, Daniel is going to be my friend. All the people at the club will be."

Jose Mourinho will bring silverware to Tottenham and justify the club's decision to dismiss Mauricio Pochettino, according to Gustavo Poyet.

The Portuguese took the helm at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last November after Spurs sprung a surprise by ending Pochettino's five-year reign.

While Pochettino transformed the club into top-four regulars and reached the 2019 Champions League final, he failed to win a trophy.

Poyet, who finished his playing career with the London club, conceded it was a debatable call to get rid of Pochettino but is confident Mourinho – one of the most decorated managers in history – will bring success.

"It's difficult to say if it was right or wrong [to sack Pochettino] because you don't know what the board was thinking," he told Stats Perform.

"From outside, it looks like, okay, they were through a spectacular five years with Pochettino, who did incredible things and the way he made that team play football and the way he was able to keep the momentum and get into a Champions League final in an incredible year, with incredible games. 

"But they decided to change that and go more for a manager [Mourinho] who looks to win things, which is what the Tottenham fans were looking for. 

"Now, if it was right or wrong, time will tell. What I say in the time he did the job is, if you give him three years at the club, I will be surprised if he doesn't win a trophy. I will be very surprised. 

"Maybe he's unlucky and next year we don't have the League Cup and there will be one trophy less to play for, but he knows how to get players to play for important games. 

"Cup competitions, on the day, it's totally different. I was lucky in certain times to win trophies, but always in cup competitions.

"I was part of teams, like Chelsea, where we were very good on the day. 'It's today, or nothing tomorrow'. And that day, I was lucky to participate in teams that were able to win those games."

Lautaro Martinez has been tipped to swap Inter for Barcelona.

Martinez, though, has emerged as a target for Paris Saint-Germain.

But, LaLiga champions Barca reportedly remain calm about the situation.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA DON'T FEAR PSG AMID LAUTARO PURSUIT

Barcelona remain confident in their bid to sign Inter star Lautaro Martinez, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Martinez has been heavily linked with a move to the LaLiga champions, who view the Argentina international as a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez.

Recent reports have claimed Ligue 1 holders Paris Saint-Germain have emerged as suitors but Barca believe Martinez is committed to moving to Camp Nou.

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato says Milan have contacted Real Madrid about signing Luka Jovic. The Serbia forward has struggled since arriving from Eintracht Frankfurt at the start of 2019-20. The report claims Milan are ready to spend €40million, while a two-year loan deal with a redemption obligation could happen. Meanwhile, Tuttomercato says Milan are eyeing a €20m move for Lyon star Memphis Depay, who is out of contract in June 2021.

Mauricio Pochettino is poised to become Newcastle United's next manager, according to Le10Sport. The former Tottenham boss has been linked amid Newcastle's prospective takeover.

- The Telegraph reports Manchester City and Bayern Munich are set to clash over Leroy Sane. The Germany international has reportedly agreed to join the Bundesliga champions, however, City are insulted by the £35m (€39.9m) valuation.

Juventus have opened talks with Jorginho as Maurizio Sarri looks to reunite with the Chelsea midfielder in Turin, says ESPN.

Manchester United are considering the prospect of delaying their move for Borussia Dortmund sensation Jadon Sancho due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports The Mirror.

Mauricio Pochettino has revealed he hopes to get the chance to one day return to Tottenham and finish the work he started.

The former Argentina international was in charge at Spurs for over five years, leading them to top-four Premier League finishes in all bar one of his full seasons at the helm, as well as reaching the final of the Champions League last year.

However, he was unable to deliver a trophy during his time at the helm and, with the club struggling in the bottom half of the table, was dismissed in November 2019.

Jose Mourinho is now in charge but Pochettino retains the belief that he will reunite with Spurs at some stage in his career, admitting the club remains "deep" in his heart.

"It was an amazing journey that finished in a way that of course no one wants to finish," Pochettino said while appearing on BT Sport.

"But deep in my chest, in my soul, in my heart, I am sure that we will cross again. For sure, from now since the day I left the club, my dream is to one day be back and to try and finish the work we didn't finish.

"We were so close to winning the right trophies. The Premier League and Champions League, we were very close. We stopped this way now.

"Of course I am looking forward to moving on and I'm so motivated for the next project. But, deep inside, I would like one day to be back [at Spurs]. The club is special, the fans are so special."

He added: "Maybe in five years, maybe in 10 years, but before I die I want to manage Tottenham again and try, if possible, to win one title.

"I want to feel what it means to win one title with Tottenham because the fans are amazing.

"All the love we received was amazing and that [winning a title] is a good opportunity for all the love they showed us from day one."

Pochettino has been linked with a return to the English top tier with Newcastle United, who are set for a change of ownership.

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