In a surprising turn of events, former Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) head coach Mauricio Pochettino has reportedly rejected offers from eight different clubs before accepting the position to be Chelsea permanent manager for the upcoming season.
Among the clubs vying for his services were several Premier League sides, including Aston Villa, Leeds United, and Nottingham Forest.
According to journalist Guillem Balague, Pochettino has been approached by numerous European clubs since his departure from PSG last year. The list of interested parties includes Sevilla, Benfica, Athletic Bilbao, Villarreal, and Nice.
However, it was Chelsea that ultimately stood out for Pochettino, as the negotiations with the club during the second round proved to be the most enticing. Initially, Pochettino turned down Chelsea’s offer until he was granted more control over the team’s affairs.
Balague explained in a report for BBC, “He has not been short of offers since leaving Paris but none have ticked as many boxes as Chelsea has, certainly in this second round of negotiations with the club. He was determined to make sure that he made the right choice as to his next employer – and initially turned down Boehly’s Chelsea until he was offered more control.”
In addition to the aforementioned Premier League clubs, Benfica, Athletic Bilbao, Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, Sevilla, Villarreal, Nice, and Leeds United all expressed interest in securing Pochettino’s services.
Taking charge of Chelsea will present Pochettino with a significant task ahead of him for the upcoming season. The Blues are currently positioned 11th on the Premier League table, having accumulated 43 points from 35 matches.
This disappointing campaign means that Chelsea will not be participating in European football next season, which adds an extra layer of pressure on Pochettino to turn the team’s fortunes around and guide them back to their previous heights.
As the Argentine manager prepares to lead Chelsea into a new era, the expectations from fans and the club’s hierarchy will undoubtedly be high. Pochettino’s proven track record and tactical acumen will be key assets as he aims to revitalize the team and bring them back into contention for top honors.