Sunday 4 December 2016

Spurs to reject all Manchester United and Chelsea pursuits of Mauricio Pochettino

Matt Law

Published 27/01/2016 | 13:28

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy will firmly reject any approach for Mauricio Pochettino, with the club confident they can hang on to their impressive head coach.

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Pochettino has won a host of admirers for turning Spurs into genuine Premier League title contenders this season and has already been linked with both the Manchester United and Chelsea jobs.

But, just as he refused to entertain interest in star players Harry Kane and Hugo Lloris last summer, Tottenham chairman Levy will give short shrift to any clubs who express an interest in Pochettino.

Pochettino still has three-and-a-half years of his Spurs contract to run and has spoken enthusiastically about building a legacy at White Hart Lane.

The Argentine has assembled the youngest team in the Premier League and taken them to fourth place in the table, just five points behind leaders Leicester City.

Pochettino has been strongly backed by Levy and given the freedom to bomb out a host of failed expensive signings, bring in his head of recruitment from Southampton, Paul Mitchell, and promote a number of young players.

Levy will again promise Pochettino that he will not cash in on Kane at the end of this season and has already tied exciting young talent Dele Alli down to a new five-and-a-half-year contract.

Other than working closely with Mitchell over new signings, Pochettino has a close relationship with academy manager John McDermott who has reportedly rejected an approach of his own from United.

McDermott travelled with the first-team squad and staff to Barcelona this week, which underlines the importance Pochettino places in the role of his youth expert.

Pochettino’s commitment to youth, together with his attributes as a coach, would be attractive to United and Chelsea but Tottenham are confident they currently best suit his philosophy.

There is also the carrot of the new stadium, which Spurs believe will take the club to another level and give them even greater pulling power to attract and keep the best players.

Levy recently organised a dinner for Pochettino and a host of club legends, where he highlighted his big plans and gave the 43-year-old an even greater sense of Tottenham’s history.

Pochettino demonstrated his ambition when he left Southampton for Tottenham in 2014, but Spurs believe he can achieve his career goals in north London.

While he could possibly earn more at Chelsea or United, Pochettino is in line to earn lucrative bonuses should Tottenham qualify for the Champions League or win a trophy.

Levy’s relationship with Chelsea is frosty to say the least, since the Blues signed Willian from under the noses of Spurs, although the two clubs may yet share Wembley as a temporary home for one season while their respective stadiums are built.

Chelsea’s loan signing of Alexandre Pato illustrates the obstacles Pochettino would face at Stamford Bridge, as the club have a multi-layered approach to the transfer market that dilutes the power of the manager.

Pochettino is still mindful of his experience at Espanyol, which he believes ended because he inherited a dressing-room of older players who were stuck in their ways and could not adapt to his style.

He could run into similar problems at United, whose star players still hold a lot of power within the club and have not taken well to change since the retirement of Alex Ferguson.

Tottenham players who have failed to embrace his methods have been frozen out of Pochettino’s first-team squad and made to train and play with the Under-21s. Levy has so far stayed out of his football decisions, but the politics at a club such as Chelsea or United may be very different.

Other than wanting to keep Pochettino for his own attributes, Levy is well aware that losing his head coach to Chelsea or United would leave Spurs with an uphill battle to keep hold of their star players.

Kane is a huge fan of Pochettino and is unlikely to seriously consider his future while the team are performing well under him, while Lloris and Jan Vertonghen have had re-thinks over their prospects at the club since the former Southampton man took over.

Tottenham are expected to make a new bid for West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino before the transfer window closes in a bid to strengthen Pochettino’s squad further.

Telegraph.co.uk

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