Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy says sacking Mauricio Pochettino was the hardest managerial change he has had to make, opening the door to a return to the club for the Argentine one day.
Levy fired Pochettino in November after a poor start to the season, less than six months after he led Spurs to the Champions League final.
When asked whether it was the hardest managerial change he has had to make, Levy told London’s Evening Standard: “You have to understand I had built up a personal relationship with Mauricio over five-and-a-half years.
“It is not something I ever wanted. Personally, it was incredibly difficult, I told him that and he understood.
“He’s been in football (a long time), he understands. It’s not personal and I’m sure he’ll come back stronger and get an opportunity to manage another great club.”
Asked whether Pochettino could return to the club in the future, Levy said: “Why not? I don’t close the door on anything.”
While Arsenal and Everton have taken their time in their search for new managers, Levy moved on from Pochettino to Jose Mourinho in less than 12 hours.
The Portuguese has turned the fortunes of the club around, lifting them to within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea, whom they meet on Sunday.
Levy told the Standard he had only spoken to Mourinho directly for the first time this season.
“Many years ago, I can’t remember exactly, we were linked with him,” Levy said. “But I’d never spoken to Jose. We never had a conversation.
“And his availability was totally unrelated to Mauricio, not connected at all.
“I can’t remember when I first spoke to Jose, but once I made the decision in my mind we had to make the change, although internally we knew of more than one candidate who would have been interested, Jose was absolutely number one.”