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Mauricio Pochettino linked with Athletic Bilbao amidst Manchester United rumors

This is probably a smokescreen, but you never know!

Crvena Zvezda v Tottenham Hotspur: Group B - UEFA Champions League Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

It’s been just over a year since Daniel Levy sacked former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino. While Spurs have gone through a rough adjustment, José Mourinho seems to have the ship righted after a busy summer and now sit in second place in the English Premier League.

There have been numerous rumors linking Pochettino to jobs across Europe, but remarkably, the former Spurs boss has been without a job since his sacking. In recent weeks, Manchester United have been in a tailspin that Ole Gunnar Solskjær may not be capable of pulling them out of. Rumors of the Red Devils reaching out to Pochettino have heated up, but it seems another club are quite interested in the Argentine’s services.

Bilbao would be a huge surprise and a major blow to Manchester United’s hopes of bringing in a strong manager. It would also make everyone on the lilywhite side of north London smile ear-to-ear to see the beloved former manager head back to Spain instead of re-appearing in the Premier League.

Pochettino was asked about wanting to get back into the game and, to nobody’s surprise, it seems he’s ready to go.

“I always feel ready to get back involved in the game. I love football, it’s my job,” said the former Southampton boss.

“It’s not a stress when you are working, it’s not a stress to go into the training ground, it’s not a stress to prepare the game, it’s not a stress to compete.

“My hair is long, look. I hope to cut it when we start working again.

“I am looking forward again to being involved in the game.”

Ever the playful entity, Pochettino seems to have handled his extended vacation well. But, like all vacations, at some point you want it to end and get back to what you love. Personally, while Athletic Bilbao is doing this just to kick the tires and see if they can catch lightning in a bottle, this is probably a fever dream. Pochettino is no doubt aware of Bilbao’s unwritten transfer policy of only signing players from the Basque Region or who trained there, and I can’t see him taking on what would be considered a mid-table club and another project. Manchester United, for how bad they are, are still Manchester United. If Pochettino wants a player, United have unlimited funds to do so....once you convince Ed Woodward to open the checkbook.

Spurs supporters who are holding out hope that the Argentine will somehow resurface outside of England will want this to be true in the worst way, but this is almost certainly agent talk. When there’s a hot commodity on the market, there are ways to tell the club you want to go to that this is your chance. Solskjær has arguably the hottest seat in the Premier League, so rumors like this are going to flare up fast.