Out-of-work Pochettino ‘open’ to England job if Southgate goes after World Cup

Mauricio Pochettino has admitted he is "open" to taking the reins as England manager should Gareth Southgate step down after the 2022 World Cup.

The former Tottenham Hotspur boss has been out of work since he was axed as boss of PSG in July and is known to be actively seeking a return to management. Pochettino, 50, was linked with the recently vacant Aston Villa job, following the departure of Steven Gerrard, whilst also being heavily tipped to replace Brendan Rodgers at Leicester City.

However, the silky Argentine is understood to be holding out for a high-profile job and will only consider clubs competing in the Champions League or a rich football heritage.

READ MORE: Sven-Goran Eriksson reveals toughest thing about managing England – and it's not WAGs

But with the bosses of Europe's elite seemingly settled, Pochettino has now opened the door to international management and could even see himself in charge of the Three Lions.

"Of course, my relationship with England has always been very good," he told The Athletic. "We have a very good relationship with the academies, trying to develop young players for the national team. I feel so comfortable here. You never know what happens. I am open to everything."

Pochettino's potential pathway to the Wembley hot seat may have been blocked by enraged England supporters had the FA wielded the axe on Southgate this time last year.

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With fans booming out 'Southgate you're the one' across the nation, Three Lions reached the final of a major tournament for the first time since 1966 before penalty heartache ripped away his chance of banishing the demons of Euro 96.

Yet, despite penning a new contract until the summer of 2024, Southgate's fortunes have taken a sharp turn in the wake of Euro 2020. Enduring a torrid Nations League campaign, England suffered their first relegation from Group A of the newly-formatted competition and are currently on a six-match winless run heading into the World Cup.

The peak of England's demise, a 4-0 Molineux mauling at the hands of Hungary, resulted in several supporters questioning Southgate's handbrake-on approach. The Telegraph report there is a feeling Southgate will step down as England boss following the Qatar World Cup, even if the Three Lions were to clinch silverware.

Pochettino would have competition for the England job, and one manager who also reportedly has interest in the gig is ex-Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel.


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