Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up
NBCSports Header Logo

Ranieri tried to sign Pochettino as a player at Atletico Madrid

Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 10: (L-R) Claudio Ranieri the manager of Leicester City is greeted by Mauricio Pochettino the manager of Spurs prior to kickoff during The Emirates FA Cup third round match between Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City at White Hart Lane on January 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City drew 2-2 on Sunday in the FA Cup. They will play again on Wednesday in the Premier League. Then, they will meet again in the FA Cup replay next week.

Simply put, managers Claudio Ranieri and Mauricio Pochettino will be seeing a lot of each other as their clubs face off three times in 11 days.

[ MORE: Vidic out at Inter ]

However, they nearly worked together more than 15 years ago, when Ranieri was in charge at Atletico Madrid and Pochettino was a player at Espanyol.

Now the manager at Leicester City, Ranieri said he tried to sign Pochettino at Atletico, but financial issues saw the deal fall through.

Pochettino, now in charge Tottenham, spoke about how close the deal was, saying he had agreed to the move to play under Ranieri.

We spoke a little bit about that on the touchline on Sunday for two or three minutes before the start of the game.

He said I was lucky because it was the year Atletico went down. The deal was done and I had agreed to go but there wasn’t the money - it was impossible to pay because there was a takeover at the club.

It was lucky. He tried to sign me.

Both Leicester City and Tottenham sit in the top-four right now, as Ranieri and Pochettino are likely the top candidates to win Manager of the Year at this point in the season.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Newcastle vs. Manchester United ]
Pochettino was named Premier League Manager of the Month for September, while Ranieri took home the honor in November.