Mauricio Pochettino may have talked himself out of the Barcelona job with senior players “totally against” his appointment.
Chiefs at the fallen giants want the Argentine to rebuild the squad as they plan a huge restructure behind the scenes after their humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich.
Current boss Quique Setien is technically still manager but the writing is on the wall for the beleaguered boss.
Poch, 48, has been without work since his was sacked as Tottenham manager in November.
But his previous comments about managing Barca appear to have come back to haunt him.
The gaffer once said he’d rather work on a farm than manage at the Nou Camp because of his affinity with neighbours Espanyol.
Pochettino made 318 appearances for their rivals as a player and later returned to the club as manager.
The Argentine even labelled Barca legend Xavi “his enemy” three years ago after the Spaniard allegedly tipped Dele Alli for a move to Manchester United.
AS report how Barca’s senior players like Lionel Messi, who have a huge influence on decisions at the club, refuse to bury the hatchet.
Even important figures behind the scenes are encouraging president Josep Bartomeu to look elsewhere.
It is claimed how the club and manager have remained in contact since January and Pochettino even had dinner with Bartomeu last month.
Pochettino’s loss could be Xavi’s gain with the former midfielder touted for a return to his boyhood club.
There are serious concerns that the size of the job would come too soon for Xavi who still has a year left on his contract managing in Qatar.
read also:Messi now ready to leave Barcelona
That could open up a shock move for Thierry Henry who has emerged as another candidate for the job.
The Frenchman is currently managing Montreal Impact in MLS, having endured a dreadful stint at AS Monaco in the 2018-19 season.
Other potential candidates include Ronald Koeman, Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa and Roberto Martinez.