Tottenham Hotspur have contacted Mauricio Pochettino over a dramatic return to the club, sources have told ESPN.
The Argentine only joined Paris Saint-Germain in January and is under contract until 2022.
The French club are thought to be reluctant to sanction his departure, wishing to avoid further managerial upheaval having sacked Thomas Tuchel on Christmas Eve last year.
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However, a return to Spurs is thought to appeal to Pochettino, who was fired in November 2019 after 5½ years at the club and replaced by Jose Mourinho.
The club’s fortunes have dipped further after Mourinho was fired last month and Spurs were only able to qualify for the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League after finishing seventh in the Premier League.
Captain Harry Kane has also informed chairman Daniel Levy of his desire to leave this summer.
Pochettino enjoys a close friendship with Kane, and sources have told ESPN that this is one key factor in Spurs’ decision to explore the possibility of his return to north London.
Pochettino won the French Super Cup and the Coupe de France with PSG this season but missed out on the Ligue 1 title to Lille by a point. They were knocked out of the Champions League at the semifinal stage to Manchester City.
PSG want him to remain in charge next season, however, and Pochettino may have to resign in order to push through a move back to Spurs if that becomes his preferred choice.
During a rare interview in December 2019, Levy was asked about the possibility of Pochettino returning to the club one day in the future.
“Why not? I don’t close the door on anything,” he told the Evening Standard. “Mauricio did a fantastic job, we are very grateful. I wish him all the best for the future. I’m still in contact with him.
“My relationship is very good with him. It just got to the point where it felt we needed a divorce.”
Mourinho was unable to replicate the same togetherness Pochettino had engendered during his time at Tottenham, which featured a run to the 2019 Champions League final and four consecutive top-four Premier League finishes.
Spurs dropped to 14th in the league after winning just three games by mid-November of the 2019-20 season before Levy intervened, but he described the decision to sack Pochettino as the toughest managerial change of his career because “you have to understand I had built up a personal relationship with Mauricio over 5½ years.”
He added: “It is not something I ever wanted. Personally, it was incredibly difficult, I told him that and he understood.”
Sources have also told ESPN that Spurs are drawn to Pochettino because of a lack of viable options elsewhere. He is not the only manager under consideration with Ajax’s Erik ten Hag remaining of interest despite signing a contract extension to 2023.
Levy told Spurs supporters in an open letter last month that he wanted “to select someone whose values reflect those of our great club and return to playing football with the style for which we are known — free-flowing, attacking and entertaining.”
Spurs are keen to make an appointment in the next two weeks, ideally before the start of the 2020 European Championship.