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Thursday 20 June 2019

Pochettino comfortable with speculation about future

The Tottenham manager has repeatedly been linked with the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid but is happy in north London.

Speculation over his future makes good reading for Mauricio Pochettino and Tottenham (John Walton/PA)
Speculation over his future makes good reading for Mauricio Pochettino and Tottenham (John Walton/PA)

By Jonathan Veal, Press Association Sport

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino will never get bored of stories linking him to other clubs because it means he is doing something right.

Fresh speculation about Pochettino’s future has emerged this week in the wake of Spurs’ qualification to the knockout stage of the Champions League, with reports suggesting the club are braced for summer interest from Manchester United and Real Madrid.

The Argentinian signed a five-year contract in May and has constantly spoken about how happy he is in north London, so much prefers the column inches to be filled up with stories about his future rather than stories about him getting sacked.

“This type of news I think does not upset or bore people,” he said.

“I prefer that newspapers talk about things like this than talk about, ‘Tottenham is going to sack me’, or ‘people are tired of me’, or ‘we are in a difficult situation’.

“Of course, if I choose one situation I choose this one. I am not bored of it, of course.”

Pochettino is getting linked with some of the top jobs because of the work he has done at Spurs, leading them into the last 16 of the Champions League and mounting a title challenge, despite all of the problems they have faced this season.

Not many people are looking past Manchester City or Liverpool to finish in top spot and that is just how Pochettino likes it.

“We are there, we are in a good position of course,” he added.

“It is normal that the perception is different. I am happy with the perception today when the perception from the media is only Manchester City and Liverpool and not us.

“I am not happy with the perception when they are not assessing us in the right way.

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Pochettino has Spurs in prime position (Mike Egerton/PA)

“After investment and many things when you assess the different clubs, normally it is Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, United, Arsenal will be involved in the race for the title. But not Tottenham.

“But we are there because we compete in a very good way, our performances are fantastic, but the perception is different.”

Spurs will find out their Champions League fate on Monday when the draw could pair them with Porto, Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Paris St Germain, Juventus or Bayern Munich.

They will play their first leg at home at some point in February and Pochettino is desperate for his side to be in their new home by then.

It will be tight as on Wednesday the club announced they will play their Premier League game with Manchester United on January 13 at Wembley.

“I hope and I wish to play our first leg in the new stadium,” he said.

“Now, I don’t know if it is going to be there or not, or in Wembley. We need to wait. But my wish and hope is we can pay the first leg in our new stadium.

“But I don’t believe it is going to be decisive to play in one or another stadium. The most important is our performance on the pitch.

“Of course, for the motivation, for our fans, of course for our players, our staff, it would be fantastic, a massive boost for us to play in our new stadium.

“But I think the motivation will be there too if we play Wembley, the same.”

Spurs return to Premier League action against Burnley on Saturday and have several injury doubts.

Defenders Kieran Trippier, Serge Aurier, Juan Foyth and Davinson Sanchez will all be assessed.

Press Association

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