Mauricio Pochettino reportedly rejected eight clubs, including Premier League outfits Leeds United, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest, before agreeing to become Chelsea's permanent manager from next season.
The Argentine tactician has been a wanted man since being sacked by Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) last summer. According to journalist Guillem Balague, 'Poch' has been approached by eight European clubs since then.
The journalist claimed in a report for BBC:
"He hasn't been short of offers since leaving Paris, but none have ticked as many boxes as Chelsea have, certainly in this second round of negotiations with the club. He was determined to make sure that he made the right choice as to his next employer - and initially turned down Boehly's Chelsea until he was offered more control."
"He has received approaches from Benfica, Athletic Bilbao, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest. Sevilla also made contact, as did Villarreal, Nice and Leeds United. But after six consecutive years in the Champions League, reaching one final and one semi-final, he wants to go to a club that he believes will challenge for titles."
Chelsea's prolonged pursuit of Pochettino is expected to culminate in an official announcement soon. Meanwhile, out of the three Premier Leagues clubs that failed to secure his signature, Leeds would regret missing out on him the most.
The Villans sit eighth in the table, having won 45 points in their 24 league games under the Spaniard. Forest, on the other hand, would hope they have enough to survive in the league this season under Steve Cooper. They are 16th in the table and lead Leeds by three points.
Pundit says Mauricio Pochettino could want Romelu Lukaku back at Chelsea
Romelu Lukaku being loaned out to Inter Milan last summer after his first season since returning to Chelsea was a telling sign that the £97.5 million move didn't work out.
However, pundit Ian Wright believes the Belgium international has unfinished business at Stamford Bridge. The Arsenal legend says the 'word on the street' is that Mauricio Pochettino wants him back in west London.
Wright said on his Ringer FC podcast, via Metro:
"The word on the street is that Mauricio Pochettino wants him [Lukaku] back. He’s got unfinished business here, he’s got massive unfinished business here."
Inter Milan CEO Beppe Marotta has confirmed Lukaku will return to Chelsea in July, at least initially, before discussing a potential move. As per Gazzetta.it, via SempreInter, the 30-year-old wants to stay at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium beyond the summer.