Ever since Gerardo Martino resigned as Argentina boss earlier this month, speculation surrounding Mauricio Pochettino’s future has been rife.
The Tottenham Hotspur boss is one of the brightest managers in the game, and after narrowly missing out on the Premier League title with Spurs last season, has seen his stock rise.
So when Tata quit as national team boss after the Copa America final defeat to Chile in June, MoPo was one of the names linked with the job.
Pochettino represented his country 20 times during his playing career, before starting his managerial career in Spain with Espanyol.
Spells with Southampton and Spurs have seen him linked with the top national job, but the 44-year-old has ruled it out for the time being.
Speaking from Tottenham’s pre-season tour of Australia, Pochettino said:
I think the speculation is normal because I am an Argentinian coach at a top club in England.
There a lot of rumours that appear in the media but I am happy at Tottenham and for that reason this is not the right moment.
Poch is under contract at Spurs until 2021, and has just spent £30m on Victor Wanyama and Vincent Janssen to strengthen his side for next season.
With that in mind, the timing wasn’t the best, and Argentina must turn to other targets.
Extroverted coach Marcelo Bielsa has been heavily linked with the job, leaving Lazio after just two days in charge earlier this summer, as has Diego Simeone, but the Argentinian FA currently don’t have the money to fly to Madrid and offer it to him, let alone pay Atletico Madrid the compensation they’d ask for.
Whoever gets the job will have to work without Lionel Messi, who has yet to reverse his decision to retire from the national team after the Copa America final defeat.
Considering a number of other top players, including Sergio Aguero and Javier Mascherano are also considering their international futures, it’s probably no surprise that the appointment is taking its time.