Mauricio Pochettino believes he could return to manage Tottenham, despite reaffirming his commitment to Chelsea before going up against his old club for the first time on Monday night.

Chelsea appointed Pochettino in the summer, much to the dismay of Spurs fans who had chanted for him to return to their club.

Pochettino spent five years as Tottenham manager, taking the club to the Champions League final, before being sacked in 2019. The following year Pochettino said: “Maybe in five years, maybe in 10 years, before I die I want to manage Tottenham again because I want to feel what it means to win one title with Tottenham.”

Before Monday’s game, Pochettino was asked whether he still wants to manage Spurs again before he dies and he replied: “Hopefully, I can stay here [at Chelsea] until I die! 20 or 25 years, but you never know in football. It [Tottenham] is a club, for sure if I’m not working, maybe if they want me one day, why not?

“Who knows? It’s a club like Southampton or Espanyol or Newell’s Old Boys. It’s like life, you never know what is going to happen tomorrow. We need to enjoy today and I think now at 51, I am thinking more about that, enjoy today and not look too much into the future, in the long term. But, why not?”

Chelsea fans are yet to sing the name of Pochettino and the Argentine admitted he is still a long way from developing a similar bond with his latest club to the one he cultivated at Tottenham.

“After four months? I cannot lie,” said Pochettino. “I hope we can arrive on the same level that I had at Tottenham. Because then it would mean we are doing really well here.

“Of course, I expect one day to be on the same level but I cannot lie, at the moment no. It is a tough situation.”

Pochettino believes Chelsea supporters would quickly see through him if he tried to hide his affection for Tottenham or claim their club has made a similar impression on him in such a short space of time.

“We need to be natural – that is the most important thing – not to be fake,” he said. “I am not going to say things that are very nice. I don’t want to be a hypocrite and say something I do not feel or we are still in the process of creating.

“People are clever – you shouldn’t underestimate the fans, either the Chelsea or the Spurs ones. If I repeat here something like the Champions League run and the Battle of the Bridge and then hide the emotion – come on! I cannot just say I have forgotten all those things. That would look stupid.

“I am just going to be natural and enjoy a great game. I want to win – that is my competitive side. But at the same time I want to enjoy it, to enjoy being a part of a process. We did something special there, but I am really calm and want to enjoy it, and hopefully get a win for us.”

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