Mauricio Pochettino sends message to Manchester United over replacing Erik ten Hag

Mauricio Pochettino left Chelsea at the end of the season (Picture: Getty)

Mauricio Pochettino insists he is ‘open’ to speaking to clubs about an immediate return to management after being linked with Manchester United.

Pochettino’s surprising departure from Chelsea was announced less than three weeks ago but the Argentine says he has ‘full energy’ and is ready for a swift return.

United are set to finally make a decision on Erik ten Hag’s future this week, with the Dutchman still in the dark over whether or not he will be sacked.

Manchester United slumped to their lowest-ever Premier League finish last season but an impressive victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup final appears to have made the new Old Trafford hierarchy reconsider.

It was recently reported that United held talks with another former Chelsea boss, Thomas Tuchel, about replacing Ten Hag, but both the club and the man himself decided it was not the best fit.

With ex-Bayern Munich manager Tuchel out of the running, Manchester United may seek talks with Pochettino and the 52-year-old insists he is ‘open’ to talking to clubs.

Asked about his future after managing the World XI in the Soccer Aid charity match against England, Pochettino told talkSPORT: ‘I have full energy and I think we [Chelsea] finished really well.

Erik ten Hag could still be sacked by Manchester United (Picture: Getty)

‘Now we just wait and see what happens. In football you never know, things can happen – today, nothing but tomorrow can appear and any opportunity, we are open to listen.’

Pressed on whether he would be willing to return to the Premier League – having managed English top-flight clubs Tottenham and Southampton as well as Chelsea – Pochettino nodded, grinned and said: ‘Open to football, we’re open to football’.

Pochettino’s World XI were beaten 6-3 by England at Stamford Bridge as the hosts ended a five-year losing run to triumph in Soccer Aid.

United’s owners during the FA Cup final (Picture: Getty)

‘It was good, it was a good experience,’ Pochettino said of the event. ‘All of the fans here gave us a nice welcome.

‘It’s a strange feeling because we finished a few weeks ago but I am happy to be here again.’

Despite a dismal first-half to the season, Pochettino was expected to stay at Chelsea after the Blues won their final five games to climb to sixth and qualify for Europe.

But Chelsea and Pochettino ‘mutually agreed to part ways’ after end-of-season talks, with the manager saying: ‘Thank you to the Chelsea ownership group and sporting directors for the opportunity to be part of this football club’s history.

‘The club is now well positioned to keep moving forward in the Premier League and Europe in the years to come.’

Chelsea sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley added: ‘On behalf of everyone at Chelsea, we would like to express our gratitude to Mauricio for his service this season.

‘He will be welcome back to Stamford Bridge any time and we wish him all the very best in his future coaching career.’

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