Tuesday 19 November 2019

Gary Neville believes Mauricio Pochettino has 'laid the first bricks' for a move away from Tottenham

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola react
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola react

Tom Kershaw

Gary Neville believes Mauricio Pochettino has “laid the first bricks” for a move away from Tottenham with his midweek comments prior to last night’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City at Wembley.

Pochettino said he has “the worst feeling out of nearly five years of starts to the season”, despite it being Tottenham’s best ever start to a Premier League campaign.

“I don’t know why,” Pochettino continued. “It is so difficult to explain because the circumstance because many things happened, disappointed because we are still waiting for the new stadium and the expectation was to be there.”

Real Madrid have sacked Julen Lopetegui, while Jose Mourinho’s reign at Manchester United is still decidedly unsteady.

Pochettino is believed to be Madrid’s preferred candidate to takeover although they are resigned to the fact that the Argentinian won’t leave Tottenham mid-season.

Their desire to secure Pochettino’s services has also reportedly proved a stumbling block in negotiations with Antonio Conte who Madrid only want to offer a one-year contract.

“Mauricio Pochettino is a brilliant coach,” Neville said. “We love him to bits, but he was always going to want to manage what would be the superclubs of Europe. And there are a couple at the moment who you can imagine in the next 12 months will be changing manager and they’ll be having a look at him. And he knows they’ll be having a look at him.

“Has he taken it as far as he can? It feels to me that he’s laid the first bricks of a foundation there for a movement away from the club and started to sort of prepare the ground.”

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