Speaking in an interview with The Guardian, Mauricio Pochettino admitted that he thought he would be the one doing the replacing – at Real Madrid.
But in a twist of fate, it was José Mourinho who ended up replacing the Argentine at Tottenham.
Back when the two managers were plying their trade in La Liga, Pochettino was forging a reputation as a top manager and already had bigger future aspirations in his sight.
“He’s a top coach. And in life, look what happens. I always thought I’d replace him.
“He was at Real Madrid. I say, ‘Oh, maybe one day I can take your place at Real Madrid’, and look at how life works out! He has taken my place at Tottenham. Unbelievable, eh?”
In spite of how it has turned out, Pochettino has no acrimony towards the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss.
“With José, we know each other for a long time. I am so happy that he is at Tottenham, replacing me.”
In terms of his future, now that his gardening leave has ended, he is free to accept new jobs without the potentially off-putting situation of clubs having to pay compensation to Spurs.
“I still think the Premier League is the best in the world, but I have not ruled out moving to another country. For the time being, I’m looking to stay here in London with my family. It would be difficult to work abroad but not impossible.”