Mauricio Pochettino has signed a new five-year contract at Tottenham Hotspur worth up to £8.5 million (€9.7 million) each year.
The manager had refused in recent weeks to guarantee he would lead the club into their new stadium in September and he sparked alarm on the final day of the season when he appeared to suggest that his future was linked to how Daniel Levy approached the summer transfer window.
Pochettino called upon the chairman to “be brave and take risks” and it was clear that the Argentinian, who has led Spurs to three successive top-three finishes and Champions League qualifications, was positioning, at the very least, to win certain concessions. Pochettino has worked effectively on relatively meagre budgets during his four seasons at the club and is determined to strengthen the squad.
However, he is well aware that because of the financing requirements of the stadium – a further £500m, at the very least, must be found – he is likely to have to continue to balance signings with outgoings.
When he delivered his end-of-season message and talked of the need to “create a new project”, he was trying to get swift decisions over player sales to gain more flexibility on his signings.
Pochettino is willing to listen to offers for Mousa Dembélé, Danny Rose and Toby Alderweireld – the last of those is a target for Manchester United’s José Mourinho.
He was also seeking to mark his turf over the type of player he wants to sign. Typically, Levy has preferred younger ones with resale value but the manager would like him to consider more seasoned professionals.
Pochettino and Levy have since held positive talks regarding the club’s direction and the announcement that the manager has agreed to fresh terms could not be better timed. Pochettino has been linked with Real Madrid, where the future of Zinedine Zidane could come into sharp focus after Saturday’s Champions League final against Liverpool in Kiev.
Tottenham hope that Pochettino’s commitment will encourage some of their big-name players to extend their contracts. Negotiations are planned with Jan Vertonghen, Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Hugo Lloris and Christian Eriksen. Pochettino’s coaches, Jesús Pérez, Miguel D’Agostino and Toni Jiménez, have also extended their deals until 2023.
Aston Villa are confident John Terry will sign a new contract if they win promotion to the Premier League and are willing to reach an agreement with the 37-year-old that would allow him to miss both games against Chelsea to help facilitate any deal.
Terry signed a lucrative one-year contract with Villa last July and revealed at the time that he had turned down offers to remain in the Premier League because he did not want to face Chelsea, where he made 717 appearances across 22 years.
Within Terry’s deal there is a clause that entitles him to a new 12-month contract if Villa are promoted – they face Fulham in Saturday’s Championship play-off final – as well as a substantial bonus.
Villa firmly believe that Terry, who has started 32 league games this season, will want to stay if they return to the top flight and they are prepared to remove any possibility of the fixtures against Chelsea being an issue. Although Steve Bruce’s response to that potential problem was slightly tongue-in-cheek, it is understood that Villa would agree to Terry missing the Chelsea matches if need be.