Everton manager Ronald Koeman quipped that he will ask Mauricio Pochettino about the Barcelona job when his side take on Tottenham on Sunday, as he attempted to deflect questions about his own future.
Koeman and Pochettino are among the names being linked with succeeding Luis Enrique after the Barca coach announced he is to leave Camp Nou at the end of the season.
The Dutchman was repeatedly asked about his potential interest during a news conference on Friday, but insisted: “Every word from my side about Barcelona is too much.”
Former Barca player Koeman was more prepared – if only marginally so – to discuss Pochettino’s suitability for the role ahead of Everton’s trip to White Hart Lane.
— Everton (@Everton) March 3, 2017
“He’s managing a big club and I think he is happy,” said Koeman.
“I will ask him on Sunday if he’d like to move to Barcelona! I don’t know.
“I was the manager after Pochettino at Southampton and I think he’s doing a really good job with Tottenham.
“But if you’re asking me questions about what he will do or what he should do it’s not the type of question I like.”
Everton held Tottenham to a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park on the opening day of the season, but Koeman dismissed the notion that the return fixture might be an acid test of the Toffees’ top-six aspirations.
“Every Premier League game is a test and the test this Sunday is not more than it was on the first day of the season,” he added.
“We got one point out of the game and Everton are now stronger than we were in the first game, but I think Tottenham are also stronger.
“It’s not a test. I don’t agree.”