Mauricio Pochettino staying at Southampton

Departure of executive chairman Nicola Cortese will not affect player sales, says Argentinian

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino insists he will be staying with the club.  Photograph:  Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino insists he will be staying with the club. Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

Thu, Jan 16, 2014, 16:20

Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed he will be staying with Southampton as manager.

The Argentinian’s future has been cast into the spotlight after the resignation of executive chairman and close ally Nicola Cortese. He left the club on Wednesday and, with Pochettino having previously said he would leave if Cortese did, it remained to be seen if he could carry out his threat. But Pochettino faced the media on Thursday afternoon and claimed a change in situation meant he would not be leaving.

“I want to show my gratitude to Nicola Cortese. I believed in him, he brought me here, my staff and my family. I am full of gratitude to him,” he said. “Eight months ago when this happened we were finishing my first season and I did say that if he left there would be no sense for me to stay.

“The new situation is different. We are in the middle of our new project. Nicola knows of my decision to stay; I have spoken to him. I am fully committed to the staff, the players, the club and it would make no sense to leave in the middle of our path.”

The Premier League club announced in a statement on Wednesday night that Cortese’s resignation had been accepted and that their owner Katharina Liebherr had taken on the role of non-executive chairman, with the search having begun for a new chief executive officer.

Pochettino said he had met briefly with Liebherr who had stressed her trust in him.

“I spoke to her for five minutes and she transmitted to me her full trust and to the staff,” Pochettino said. “There was not time to speak to her about the future. It was a quick hello and goodbye, and she transmitted her trust.”

Pochettino moved to snuff out rumours that rival clubs were circling, ready to take advantage of the turmoil at St Mary’s and snap up some of their talent including highly fancied full-back Luke Shaw.

“I want to make this clear. No players will be for sale at Southampton FC,” he said. “My belief has not changed from a week ago. No players that I want at this club will be sold.”

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