With Barcelona increasingly likely to be searching for a new manager in the summer, tentative speculation has already begun to swirl around Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino.
Barca’s almost certain Champions League exit in this round – following a 4-0 drubbing from Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night – will probably mean the Luis Enrique’s three-year stint at Camp Nou will come to an end.
To that end, media reports have already begun to guess who will be in the Barca hot seat next season, with Pochettino in among the names mentioned.
The man himself, however, will not be drawn on the rumours and has reaffirmed his commitment to the project at White Hart Lane as they look to secure Champions League football for the second year in a row:
“It is important to be focused on the game [in the Europa League against Gent].
“I can’t say anything about that. I am at Tottenham.
“I am very happy and I have four more years left on my contract. I am enjoying an exciting project.
“It’s true it is not an easy project, but I am very happy here.”
Pochettino has in the past claimed that he would not be interested in a move to Barcelona having played for (and managed) Barcelona’s local rivals Espanyol, saying as recently as January that he had a “bull in his arm.” Nonetheless, his growing reputation in the game and his achievements with Tottenham thus far are sure to see him linked with clubs in Europe on a more regular basis.
As for Barca, meanwhile, Sevilla manager Jorge Sampaoli has emerged as the early favourite to be offered the job should it become available, with Everton’s Ronald Koeman also believed to be in the running.
Despite winning the Champions League and Liga in his first season (and adding a second league title last year), Barcelona’s midweek collapse has left the former Spanish international on precarious ground.