Mauricio Pochettino has insisted he is ‘happy’ at Tottenham but doesn’t believe he has ‘missed the Real Madrid train’.
Pochettino has long been linked with the manager’s job at the Bernabeu and had been expected to take up the role following Zinedine Zidane’s shock resignation last summer.
Could Pochettino still move to Madrid? Five key things to know…
- Pochettino has been Spurs manager since 2014.
- The Argentine has guided the club to three consecutive top-three finishes.
- However, he is yet to win a trophy, with some insisting he needs to move on to attain silverware.
- Pochettino has long been linked with Real Madrid but has seen Zidane move back into the Bernabeu dugout.
- The 47-year-old insists he is happy at Spurs but hasn’t missed his chance at Real Madrid.
However, the Argentine remained in north London with Julen Lopetegui getting the job with Los Blancos. He lasted just 14 games as manager, though, losing six of them.
He was then replaced by Santiago Solari, who had similar struggles to his predecessor, which has found Zidane, against all odds, back in the dugout.
Pochettino has only recently signed a new five-year deal with Spurs and with the club set to open their new 62,062-seater stadium in the very near future, he has insisted he is happy there, even if he feels a Madrid move could still be on the cards later down the line.
Speaking in Barcelona at the Mediterranean International Cup, of which he is an ambassador, Pochettino said: “I don’t have the feeling that I missed the Madrid train. I don’t look at the long term, I’m happy and I still have four years left on my contract.”
When asked if Real Madrid wanted him, he replied: “You put me in a compromising position.
“There are always rumours, not just with me but with other colleagues in the profession. But 90 per cent of them are false. I’m very happy at Tottenham.
“Tottenham have a different philosophy. We are really motivated for the Champions League and with the opening of the new stadium. We have a lot of confidence in what we are doing.”
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Spurs draw a Champions League nightmare for City, according to Pochettino
Despite Man City fans being fairly satisfied, Pochettino believes Pep Guardiola would have wanted to avoid drawing Spurs or any other English side in the Champions League quarter-finals.
The Argentine thinks the prospect of Spurs launching their new stadium and the energy that it will generate could work against City, who he believes are ‘obligated’ to win the Champions League.
“Any of the four English teams would have preferred not to face another Premier League side, but the draw is what it is,” he said.
“City is a team that has the obligation to win, but not only since the arrival of Pep with [Roberto] Mancini and with [Manuel] Pellegrini also.
“And we are going to compete with the incentive of launching our new stadium against them and playing against 62,000 people who are going to transmit a special energy.”