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Wednesday 28 June 2017

Pochettino meets Barca president Bartomeu but Spurs say pair are close friends

Mauricio Pochettino played for and was then boss of Espanyol before heading to the Premier League
Mauricio Pochettino played for and was then boss of Espanyol before heading to the Premier League

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino held a meeting with Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu this week.

Press Association Sport understands Pochettino and Bartomeu met at a restaurant in the city, where the Spurs boss still owns a house from his days playing for Espanyol.

Pochettino has been linked with taking over at the Nou Camp after Luis Enrique earlier this month announced his decision to step down in the summer.

Spurs, however, are claiming they were aware of the meeting and insist the pair have long been close friends.

It is not clear whether Pochettino had Tottenham's blessing to meet Bartomeu but the get-together will do little to dampen speculation about his future.

The Argentinian signed a new five-year contract at White Hart Lane in May but when asked about a move to Barca earlier this month, he passed up the chance to rule it out.

Pochettino was also spotted having lunch with former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson last year before confirming his new deal, although Spurs said they were aware of that meeting too.

Tottenham have made great strides under Pochettino since he arrived from Southampton in 2014.

They sit second in the Premier League table, with 10 games left, and are on course to secure Champions League qualification for a second consecutive year.

Press Association

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