Exclusive - ​Mauricio Pochettino was shocked and devastated upon discovering he had been sacked as the manager of Tottenham earlier this week.

The Argentine was informed by Daniel Levy on Tuesday night that he had been relieved of his duties, in what he perceived as a surprising turn of events. Prior, Pochettino was certain that he would be given time to turn Spurs' fortunes around this season, despite a disappointing start in the Premier League.

However, he is said to be feeling better as of the last couple of days, and is starting to look ahead to the future - despite the affection he still holds for the club.


Pochettino was planning on remaining loyal for the long term, and had expected the same in return after turning down moves to ​Real Madrid and ​Manchester United earlier in his reign. 

Perhaps, however, that had not been necessarily true for the entire duration of his tenure. 

90min has learned that when Jose Mourinho - his successor in north London - was sacked by United in December 2018, Pochettino was interested in speaking to them. While he would have never thought about leaving ​Tottenham had he received what he felt was appropriate backing, his head had been turned, and he was ready to explore other options as a result.

As speculation over a move to Manchester intensified, Spurs drew up a shortlist of potential replacements to prepare themselves in case of an approach - even attempting to speak to some targets to get ahead. Pochettino learned of this and was angered by it.

Mauricio Pochettino,Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

United, in the end, opted to award the job on a permanent basis to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and per a source, Pochettino was "gutted" to be overlooked for one of the jobs he has long held ambitions of taking.

German champions Bayern Munich are currently among the clubs looking for a new head coach - the links with Pochettino have been immediate since his departure from Spurs - and it's not the first time the Bavarians have shown an interest. They had made efforts to bring in Pochettino both before and during Niko Kovac's tenure at the Allianz Arena, but he had no interest in heading to Munich on each occasion. 

While his feelings may have changed given the current situation, it's not expected that Pochettino will make an immediate jump back in to management.

At Tottenham, Pochettino made it clear to Levy that he had lost faith in certain squad members to help take the club to the next level, but the chairman ignored the warnings about the decline and lack of progression of certain players. The club's lack of incomings between the summers of 2018 and 2019 are where his feelings of agitation began to snowball.

While he felt that he had the trust and support of the Spurs board, their actions in the market made it apparent that this wasn't the case.

Georginio Wijnaldum,Sadio Mane

Spurs' inability to sign Sadio Mane even further back, in 2016, annoyed Pochettino - as he had disagreed that the Senegalese's wage demands were excessive, while a strict salary structure was in place. Georginio Wijnaldum also opted to join Liverpool over Tottenham around then.

Tanguy Ndombele was a long-term target of Pochettino's, and a deal to bring him to north London was close to being agreed in 2018, but Lyon pulled the plug late in negotiations. And while he ended up getting his man a year later, the lack of support in had already meant that, despite his will to carry on, his relationship with people within the club had been punctured for some time.

Now out of work, it's not expected that Pochettino will make an immediate jump back in to management - though of course things can quickly change in football. His dream job remains Real Madrid.