Mauricio Pochettino could set about tempting fellow Argentine Lionel Messi to join him at Paris Saint-Germain once he is confirmed as manager at the French giants, according to reports.
Pochettino’s appointment as PSG boss is expected to be imminent after the Ligue 1 champions ruthlessly sacked Thomas Tuchel just hours after he oversaw a 4-0 win against Strasbourg and just months after the German led the club to a maiden Champions League final appearance.
The highly-rated Pochettino, 48, has been out of work since being handed his marching orders by Tottenham in November of 2019, and is set to return to PSG – the club where he was a player during the early 2000s.
Meanwhile, speculation over Messi’s future continues to rage, and the 33-year-old Barcelona icon – who failed in his bid to force an exit from the Catalans at the end of last season – will be free to speak to potential suitors from January ahead of the expiration of his current contract in the summer.
The Qatari-owned PSG are one of the few clubs with the financial clout to meet Messi’s likely wage demands in the current Covid-ravaged climate, and Le Parisien has now claimed that Pochettino’s arrival could be the perfect impetus for a move for Messi. The Argentine pair have shared history as both men began their football careers with Newell’s Old Boys in their homeland.
Bringing Messi to Paris would mean reuniting the six-time Ballon d’Or winner with former Barcelona strike partner Neymar – who made a world-record switch to Paris in 2017 – as well as linking him with 22-year-old French sensation Kylian Mbappe, forming a front three that would be the envy of world football.
Somewhat embarrassingly, PSG are yet to officially confirm the sacking of Tuchel despite the news being widely reported since Christmas Eve.
Mbappe has also paid tribute to Tuchel in a message on social media.
The German leaves the club after two and half seasons in charge, having guided them to back-to-back Ligue 1 titles as well as domestic cup success.
However, Tuchel gave a controversial interview last week in which he discussed the delicate politics of being PSG manager, which may have helped hasten his exit.
Fans, meanwhile, have demanded that the club announce Pochettino, who spent five years at Spurs, leading them on a surprise run to the Champions League final in 2019 but ultimately leaving North London without silverware during his reign.
Ligue 1 success will be the bare minimum expected from PSG’s owners and fans, and if Pochettino can help lure Messi to Paris then Champions League glory would surely be expected to follow.