Real Madrid have issued a strong statement denying Mauricio Pochettino had requested the club to allow his Tottenham Hotspur players sleep at their Valdebebas training centre ahead of the Champions League final.
Spurs take on Liverpool in Europe’s showpiece final on June 1, with both sides being granted access to Real’s training facilities in the run-up to the game.
What is the dispute between Real and Pochettino? Five things to know…
- Spurs face Liverpool in June’s Champions League final.
- The game is being held at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
- Both clubs will spend time using Real Madrid’s Valdebebas training facility ahead of the game.
- Pochettino claimed his request for his players to sleep in the sports complex was denied by Real.
- But Los Blancos have issued a strong statement dismissing these claims as ‘outright false’.
But Pochettino, who has been strongly linked with a move to the Bernabeu over the past 12 months, recently claimed Real were forcing his players to sleep at a nearby hotel rather than on the Valdebebas complex, against his wishes.
“Ahead of the final, we will train at Valdebebas and sleep in a nearby hotel,” Pochettino said.
“I asked Florentino [Perez] to let us sleep in the sports centre, but he told me that I can only sleep there when I become the coach of Real Madrid.”
But Real have now hit back with a statement on their official website that dismisses Pochettino’s claims as ‘outright false’.
The statement read: “Real Madrid CF is surprised by the demonstrations made by the coach of Tottenham Hotspur, Mauricio Pochettino, about a supposed request made to our club so that his team could stay in the residence of Real Madrid on the occasion of the final of the Champions League.
“Real Madrid CF wants to make it clear that it is outright false that this request was produced. Our club has always shown its absolute availability to meet all the requests made by UEFA, the Royal Spanish Football Federation, Club Atlético de Madrid, Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur.
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“All requests submitted to Real Madrid have referred only and exclusively to the use of the training camps of the Ciudad Real Madrid and its changing rooms. And all of them have been granted by our club.
“Thus, Liverpool plans to train in our facilities on Saturday, June 1 in the morning. Tottenham, for its part, will do so on Thursday, May 30 and Friday, May 31.
“Real Madrid CF also wants to emphasize that the accommodation of the finalist teams of the Champions League are assigned by UEFA following criteria of organization and security. And that at no time has our club been requested that these teams could be accommodated in the facilities of Ciudad Real Madrid.”
Pochettino cloudy over his future
As well as Real Madrid, Pochettino has also been strongly linked with Manchester United and Juventus.
Zinedine Zidane and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have already filled two of those vacancies but that hasn’t stopped the Argentine putting out some less-than-convincing vibes regarding his future in north London, claiming a decision on his future will only be made after the Champions League final.
“I will not make decisions about my future [until] after the final, it is important to know what the club’s future plan is,” he said.
“If we want to return to the Champions League final next year and fight with Manchester City and Liverpool for the Premier League title, we need reinforcements.
“City’s goal was to win the Champions League, ours to finish building our stadium.”