'That is momentous' - Mauricio Pochettino confirms Tottenham blocked him from taking over at Real Madrid last summer
Mauricio Pochettino has revealed he was denied the chance to open talks over becoming the next Real Madrid head coach last summer after Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy blocked any prospect of a move.
Amid increasing speculation that Pochettino may be considering his future as Tottenham manager after curious comments in his latest press conference ahead of Wednesday's Champions League semi-final second leg at Ajax, the Argentine tactician has now revealed he was tempted by the chance to take over at Real Madrid following Zinedine Zidane's resignation last May.
"The situation was difficult," he told El Pais. "The dream of every coach was at stake: to lead the biggest team that exists. And you must say no. That is momentous.
"It creates a conflict because you know that if a coach wants to leave, he leaves. But I had just signed a renewal with Tottenham. And I felt that I could not do anything. Daniel Levy did not accept the offers to free me and if they ask me to break the contract I cannot accept it because I cannot behave like that.
"If my chairman thinks I'm going to continue, I'm not going to run off. Those are not my values. Why is it going to be good for a club to sign a coach who violates his commitments?"
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Pochettino has cast a big cloud over his future after he hinted on Tuesday that he would walk away from Tottenham if he leads the club to Champions League glory this season.
"Winning the Champions League? It should be fantastic, no? Close the five-year chapter and go home," he told reporters.
"We are living a dream. Five years ago, when we arrived, the target was to reduce the gap to the top four, and then to have the possibility to play in the Champions League.
"Nobody would believe we would be playing in the Champions League three seasons in a row and competing at this stage.
"To win in these circumstances this season, maybe I need to think about maybe doing something different in the future."