Exclusive: Potential Chelsea manager target waiting for PL return after damaged by Ligue 1 spell

French football expert Jonathan Johnson has had his say on Mauricio Pochettino’s future as he expects the former Paris Saint-Germain manager to wait for a job in the Premier League.

The Argentine didn’t have the best of times in France with PSG, and Johnson admits he now needs to get his next move right as that stint at the Parc des Princes was damaging for him.

Writing in his exclusive CaughtOffside column, to be published in full tomorrow, Johnson gave his insight into Pochettino’s situation amid links with the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham and Real Madrid.

The Blues have just brought in Frank Lampard as interim manager until the end of the season, but it’s still not clear who will end up being their full time replacement for Graham Potter.

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Mauricio Pochettino had a difficult spell as PSG manager

Pochettino could be a good option for Chelsea, but Johnson is less convinced by the prospect of former Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane taking a job with an English club any time soon.

“I think there’d be a lot of logic to Mauricio Pochettino returning to the Premier League,” Johnson wrote.

“He didn’t have great success at PSG, and I do think that spell ultimately has been fairly damaging for Pochettino and it makes his next move extremely important – there’d be risks associated with going back to Spurs, and also the role at Chelsea. If he suffers another setback in his career it could really derail things, so I can understand if there’s an element of temptation to wait and see what happens at Real Madrid, where he’s held in high esteem.”

He added: “Zinedine Zidane’s name has come up a few times even if he doesn’t appear to be in contention right now, and with him my understanding is he’s tended to distance himself from jobs in the Premier League as he waits for a job with a club in France or with the French national team. He’d need to massively improve his English, and I think that’s one reason he’s hung a lot of hope on a return to France.

“I can understand Premier League clubs looking at him, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it never came to fruition. Time will tell, but there’s no strong link right now, certainly in comparison to someone like Pochettino, who is waiting for offers from England or Spain – two leagues he knows well, and which looks like more of a logical fit.”

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