Talks have taken place between Newcastle representatives and Mauricio Pochettino and “a good offer” was made to make him new manager when the Saudi Arabian takeover of the club is complete, according to close friend Ossie Ardiles.
Ex-Tottenham boss Pochettino appears to be moving ever closer to replacing Steve Bruce as Newcastle United manager after his fellow Argentine and Spurs ambassador Ardiles said he has been made an offer by the club.
It is widely expected that Newcastle will formally announce a £300 million (US$360) takeover led by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia in the coming days.
In an interview with Argentine website Infobae, Ardiles confirmed that his compatriot has had close talks with Newcastle about overseeing a huge revolution at the club, which has been owned by British billionaire Mike Ashley for the past 13 years.
Despite being fired by Tottenham earlier this year, Pochettino, 48, was still under contract at White Hart Lane until Tuesday this week. He is now free to speak to other clubs however.
“He was linked with Newcastle United,” Ardiles revealed, according to The Mirror.
“When he spoke to direct that club, there were many first-rate people involved who made him a good offer and he had a relationship with Tottenham.
“Last Tuesday his situation was unlocked and he is a free coach. In this way, he will hear offers again, but Newcastle is a firm possibility to direct again.
“You will take your time to think and wait a little for all this to happen.”
Speculation has been feverish for the past couple of months about the amount of investment that could be put into the club by the Saudi bid, led by financier Amanda Staveley – potentially bringing world-class superstars to St James Park.
The club, with respect to current boss Bruce, would no doubt want a manager of Pochettino’s caliber to attract them.
“He is an absolutely top-level technician,” said Ardiles.
“He is one of the three best technicians in the world. He can direct wherever he wants. Here in Spain, in France and Italy. But he really likes directing in England.
“There are not many clubs where he could go and have the luxury of having it. There are a few very large teams that want it and one of them is going to be chosen.”
The Saudi consortium’s takeover of the club, ultimately backed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has already been ‘greenlit’ by the Premier League, according to some reports.
An announcement could be imminent in a move that would transform the club and that area of the North East of England.
Newcastle fans have long protested about the current owner Ashley and most would welcome their new benefactors, despite fears from outside about Saudi Arabia’s human rights record and the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.