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Pochettino agrees to help Espanyol

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MADRID, Spain -- Argentine international defender Mauricio Pochettino has returned to Spanish strugglers Espanyol on loan from Bordeaux, the Spanish club said on Monday.

Pochettino signed for Bordeaux at the beginning of this season from French First Division rivals Paris Saint Germain.

But he now hopes to help bolster Espanyol where the 31-year-old won the Spanish Cup in 2000 during a seven-year stay.

"It's like returning home," the player told the club's website. "I'm coming back to Espanyol with the aim of helping the club get out of what is a very difficult situation."

Pochettino links up with former PSG coach Luis Fernandez, now at the helm of the Primera Liga tailenders who are four points adrift of penultimately-placed Murcia.

Espanyol, who have just eight points from 17 games and the worst defence record in the league with 33 goals conceded, are at home to Real Mallorca on Sunday.

Meanwhile Ecuador international defender Ivan Hurtado was officially unveiled by Murcia ahead of Saturday night's clash away to title leaders Real Madrid.

The 29-year-old Mexican-born player, who was at Barcelona Guayaquil last season, had also aroused the interest of Spanish rival's Villarreal.

"I'm delighted to be able to play in Spain, which is a great league with top players," said Hurtado, who has agreed a deal for the rest of the season.

He was presented at the same time as Argentine midfielder Lionel Gancedo who has joined from Osasuna as Murcia look to improve a record of just one win from 17 outings.

According to reports Barcelona's former Argentine international goalkeeper Tito Bonano and Valencia striker Juan Sanchez are other targets.

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