Solari open to Premier League post as he eyes ‘serious project’ on the back of Real Madrid flop

Santiago Solari is eyeing up a return to management, with the former Real Madrid boss admitting that he could be tempted to take on a “serious project” in the Premier League.

The Argentine was handed the most high-profile of posts at Santiago Bernabeu back in October 2018.

He was initially appointed as successor to the ousted Julen Lopetegui on a caretaker basis, before going on to land a three-year contract.

Solari saw out just a few months of that agreement before being relieved of his duties, paving the way for Zinedine Zidane to return to the Blancos helm.

The 42-year-old has been out of work since, but is eager to get back into the dugout and is waiting on the right opportunity to present itself.

"I would like to coach in Europe, in a serious project in one of the big leagues," Solari told BBC Sport.

"I saw the Premier League last year and how it grew so much. It was a fantastic campaign for the English teams. There are so many different cultures as well - you have Spanish coaches, German coaches, English coaches, coaches from all over the world who have made it grow.

"The type of football I like is when the team is the protagonist, offensive football, high tempo and aggressive but in order to achieve that you have to defend high, have fast transitions, and of course talent is a big part of that.

"The statistics in the Premier League are amazing and confirm things are changing. Fifteen years ago there were just three games where one team averaged 70% of possession. Three years ago that went up to 30 games. Two years ago it was 60 games and last year there were 67 games in which one team had 70% of possession."

Mauricio Pochettino Spurs

Solari’s compatriot, Mauricio Pochettino, has impressed in the Premier League during spells with Southampton and Tottenham, with his fine work earning plenty of praise.

"I am not friends with him but I know him and I admire him and what he has done last year and the year before," said fellow Santa Fe native Solari.

"It didn't just happen that he got to the final of the Champions League - it was something that was growing over four or five years."

Pochettino is currently competing against the likes of former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola for major honours in England and Europe, with the Spurs and Manchester City managers considered to have helped raise the tactical game across all levels.

"I don't think we can put them in the same package," said Solari.

"They have coached different teams. I would like to see Pochettino with one of the really big teams soon because he deserves the opportunity.

"On the other hand Pep has only ever worked with top teams. He delivered in Spain, he delivered in Germany and he delivered in England. We'll see now what his next step will be.

"But they are both top coaches and I have nothing but respect and admiration."