Leeds United were among a group of eight clubs turned down by Mauricio Pochettino ahead of his imminent return to management with Chelsea.

That is according to BBC Sport’s Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, who claims Leeds, alongside the likes of Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa all saw approaches knocked back by the former Tottenham Hotspur boss.

Pochettino has been out of work since his dismissal from Paris Saint Germain in July last year but is now set to be appointed as Graham Potter’s successor at Chelsea.

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Official confirmation of his arrival at Stamford Bridge is expected at some point this week after several weeks of talks with the Blues’ hierarchy.

Leeds will of course face the Argentine next season if they secure their status as a top flight side.

Leeds saw Pochettino approach rebuffed

In Sam Allardyce, Leeds are on their third manager of what has been another shambolic season in West Yorkshire. After a run of two wins in 17 Premier League matches, Jesse Marsch was the first managerial casualty of the club’s season in February.

Leeds tried and failed on a number of targets to succeed Marsch and it is appears as though Pochettino was among them.

Axed former sporting director Victor Orta eventually settled on Javi Gracia as the Whites’ new boss, but he was sacked after just 11 games following a dismal run of results in April.

Allardyce was then brought in ahead of Leeds’ final four matches of the season with the remit of keeping the club in the Premier League.

But it could’ve been much different had Pochettino accepted the advances of Leeds, though it feels as if it was a move that never really got off the ground with Ballague claiming his eyes have always been set on a club with the potential to challenge for trophies.

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He said: “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.”

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