Mauricio Pochettino refuses to comment on Manchester United speculation

‘I cannot answer this type of question because this type of rumour happens in this business, in football’

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino says he's fully focused on managing the north London club despite being the bookmakers' favourite to take over from Jose Mourinho at Manchester United. Video: Reuters

 

Mauricio Pochettino insisted that he would not and could not comment on “rumours” linking him to Manchester United at the end of the season, as he declined to offer Tottenham any guarantees he would remain with them next season.

United sacked Jose Mourinho on Tuesday morning, after a dismal run of results, and they intend to appoint a caretaker manager until the end of the season, when they will make permanent choice to lead them forward. They considered a move for Pochettino in 2016, after the dismissal of Louis van Gaal, only to go, instead, for Mourinho.

Pochettino has since enjoyed three successive Champions League campaigns with Spurs – he has them in the last 16 of this season’s competition where they have been drawn to face Borussia Dortmund – and he has enhanced his reputation significantly. Pochettino remains of interest to the United executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward.

Pochettino was asked whether he had any message for the Spurs fans who worry that he will be tempted by the Old Trafford vacancy.

“After nearly five years as manager of Tottenham, there are a lot of rumours that happen in my position here,” he replied. “I cannot answer this type of question because this type of rumour happens in this business, in football. This business, we know very well – the rumours, a lot of rumours happen but it’s not my business what happens in another club.

“I am so focused in trying to deliver my best in this football club and now we have ahead very busy fixtures. Tomorrow we play another derby [at Arsenal in the Carabao Cup quarter-final] and I think all the people understand that we are focused on delivering our best job tomorrow.”

Pochettino was asked again whether he had a message for the Spurs support. “After nearly five years, what more do I need to say?” he replied. “From day one and not only in the coaching staff, the players, too – there are a lot of rumours that happen. That is the business today, it’s like this.

“I accept everything. I accept the rumours when they are positive. I accept the rumours when they negative. I accept opinions when you win and the people praise you and when you lose, I accept the negative opinions. It is part of our business, our job.”

Pochettino took the opportunity to send his commiserations to Mourinho, with whom he enjoys a close relationship.

“I want to send my best wishes to him,”he said. “I feel so sorry because you know very well, I have a very good relationship with him. He’s a very good friend and it’s sad news what happened today. It’s not my business what happens in another club. Only I want to send my best wishes to Jose.” – Guardian

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