Mauricio Pochettino refuses to rule out Tottenham return: 'Why not?'
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Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino refused to rule out the possibility of one day returning to manage Tottenham ahead of facing his former club for the first time on Monday night.
Pochettino will go back to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the first time since the Argentine was sacked in 2019 in tonight’s London derby, having taken charge of rivals Chelsea at the start of the season.
The Argentine led Tottenham to the Champions League final as well as four consecutive top-four finishes during his time with the club, but upon departing Spurs Pochettino said he would want to go back “before he dies” in order to try and win a trophy in north London.
Ahead of his “special” return on Monday night, Pochettino stressed his commitment to Chelsea but made clear he would not rule out a return the Tottenham dugout later in his career.
“Hopefully, I can stay here [at Chelsea] until I die!” Pochettino replied. “20 or 25 years, but you never know in football. It [Tottenham] is a club, for sure if I’m not working, maybe if they want me one day, why not?
“Who knows? It’s a club like Southampton or Espanyol or Newell’s Old Boys. It’s like life, you never know what is going to happen tomorrow.
“We need to enjoy today and I think now at 51, I am thinking more about that, enjoy today and not look too much into the future, in the long term. But, why not?”
Pochettino led Tottenham to a second-placed Premier League finish in 2017 but was unable to end their long wait for silverware and was sacked five months after reaching the 2019 Champions League final.
Speaking about the reception he expects, the 51-year-old continued: "I’m not going to say nothing at the moment because until Monday we cannot guess what is going to happen then.
"The most important thing is people know that we cannot forget all that we lived together, amazing memories there.
"I am going to respect the people, how(ever) they are going to express, but it’s not going to change my emotion, my view, my feelings about a club that I think we spend an unbelievable journey (with).
"(It is) really special because I am back after four years in a place that we have amazing memories, we created amazing memories together. I think it’s special, I’m not going to lie."
Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino will return to Tottenham for the first time since his 2019 departure on Monday
While Chelsea are languishing in mid-table 10 games into the campaign, unbeaten Tottenham top the table under Ange Postecoglou.
Despite being desperate for victory, Pochettino rejected any notion of seeking revenge in response to the nature of his departure.
Mid-table Chelsea are in great need of points to kickstart their season following just three Premier League wins from 10 games, while unbeaten Tottenham are among the early pacesetters.
"I want to win," said Pochettino, who arrived at Stamford Bridge in the summer. "I want to beat them.
"But when I play with my kids, I want to beat them, or my dad, or my brothers, or my friends - I try to kill them!
"I want to win because we are competitive, I am competitive.
"It’s not a special thing. I don’t want to go there and (people) think it’s a revenge. For what?
"For me, it’s going to be important because we need to win, Chelsea need to win because we need the points.
"But not because it’s special because it’s against Tottenham."
Includes reporting from PA