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Mauricio Pochettino linked with a shock move to Athletic Club

Paris-Saint Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino has emerged as a surprise target for La Liga outfit Athletic Club, reports L’Equipe.

Pochettino’s future is hanging in the balance following another disappointing Champions League campaign, which marred the Ligue 1 success.

Although he is willing to fulfil his contract, which runs until the end of next season, PSG are considering relieving him of duties as a part of a summer overhaul.

Antonio Conte is the primary target for Les Parisiens, while former player Thiago Motta is also being considered for the managerial position.

Athletic Club are monitoring Pochettino’s situation with the view to appointing him as their new manager in place of Marcelino, whose contract expires in June.

The Basque club are unlikely to hand the Spaniard a contract extension after failing to secure European qualification.

They believe Pochettino – who has previous experience in La Liga with Espanyol – is the ideal candidate to succeed Marcelino and push them for European places.

However, the former Tottenham boss may see Athletic Club as a downward leap in his career as he belongs to the top tier of managers, while his name has always been associated with big clubs – Manchester United in recent times.

Furthermore, Pochettino is among the highest-paid managers in Europe, and there is no way Athletic could meet his salary demands.

The Basque club’s interest makes sense since Pochettino is known for his impressive work at Spurs – transforming a young squad to a top-four contender in the Premier League. He will also have one of the most exciting young squads in Europe to inherit at San Mames.

However, Pochettino insisted weeks ago that he will remain at Parc des Princes next season.

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