Thursday 12 December 2019

'I don't care about that' - Mauricio Pochettino on reported Chelsea links

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is not interested in rumours linking him with Chelsea
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is not interested in rumours linking him with Chelsea

Nick Purewal

Mauricio Pochettino has admitted he remains unfazed about being touted as Jose Mourinho's long-term successor at Tottenham's London rivals Chelsea.

Tottenham boss Pochettino insisted he did not care when quizzed on rumours Chelsea could seek to lure him to Stamford Bridge this summer.

Interim manager Guus Hiddink will guide Chelsea to the end of the season, when the Blues will appoint their permanent boss.

Chelsea have been tipped as having identified a nucleus of candidates to take the Stamford Bridge helm, with former Argentina defender Pochettino believed to number among them.

"No I don't mind, we are supposed to receive the rumours and we are in a media that all is about rumours," said Pochettino, when asked if links to the Chelsea job could cause any unrest at White Hart Lane.

"But I don't care about that.

"It's the same with any rumours about players, there's a lot of names in the media now. My focus is here, to try for success at Tottenham and to work hard.

"That's all about rumours.

"I always work for the present and the future. I'm very happy here. We've created after 18 months a very good group, with a strong basis for success in the future and I'm very happy. My job is to be focused, not to hear rumours.

"The most important thing is that I'm focused on my job."

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Tottenham travel to League One side Colchester for Saturday's fourth-round FA Cup tie, with Pochettino admitting he could yet start England stars Harry Kane (pictured above) and Dele Alli from the bench.

Austrian defender Kevin Wimmer is poised to deputise for Jan Vertonghen, missing with knee ligament trouble.

Pochettino insists Spurs have sufficient quality within their current ranks to cope with the loss of both Vertonghen, and Andros Townsend, who joined Newcastle this week.

Victory at Colchester would hand Tottenham 10 games in 35 days, but Pochettino continues to insist his squad boasts the depth to cope with such rigour.

"I think yes, I believe that we already have enough quality, and it's true that we lost people a few times, but that's why we have a squad of 24 to 25 players," said Pochettino.

"With Jan's injury it's important that a player like Kevin Wimmer can show his quality.

"It's important for that that you always keep all the players fit and focused. It's a very good period now to show that we have a very strong squad.

"It's a test for our squad that's true, a very busy period with a lot of games.

"But we've come through a very busy period too and that was a big test for the squad. We're not worried, I think we've shown we've got enough quality to compete across all the competitions."

Moussa Dembele of Fulham controls the ball

Pochettino refused to rule out completing a deal to bring Fulham's Moussa Dembele (pictured above) to White Hart Lane, while also wishing departed winger Townsend good luck in the north-east.

The former Southampton boss admitted it was best for all parties for Townsend to leave Spurs in search of regular football.

"It was important for him to find a club that gave him the possibility to play consistently in the Premier League," said Pochettino, of Townsend.

"We kept a very good relationship and always it was about the player needing to play.

"We had other players and he wasn't my first choice and it is normal that players always want to play.

"The club believes it was a good deal and we wish him all the best at his new club."

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