Mauricio Pochettino: When Real Madrid call, you have to listen

Spurs manager signed a new five-year contract with the London side only last week

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is a reported target of Real Madrid. Photograph: Reuters

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is a reported target of Real Madrid. Photograph: Reuters

 

Mauricio Pochettino has said he will not force a move away from Tottenham Hotspur but has not ruled out joining Real Madrid in the future.

The Spurs manager has been identified as the preferred candidate to replace Zinedine Zidane after his shock departure on Thursday despite the fact he signed a new five-year contract with the London side only last week. Speaking at an event to promote to his book “A Brave New World” in Barcelona on Friday, Pochettino re-affirmed his commitment to his current club although appeared to keep the door open to a potential switch, depending on chairman Daniel Levy.

“I’m very happy at Tottenham,” Pochettino told a news conference. “It would be disrespectful to Daniel (for me to force a move). I’ve just renewed with Tottenham and I am happy.

He added: “I live in the present - there is nothing more important than that. I enjoy what is happening and what has to be will be. The link now with Madrid is normal and I take it with all normality. I’m committed to Spurs and still have a long contract with them I just signed.”

Pochettino was then asked if he was “ready for a challenge like Real Madrid”, to which he responded: “Right now I am ready to go to lunch. I’m looking forward to going back to London.”

The reporter subsequently asked if saying no to Madrid was impossible, with Pochettino stating: “For you maybe. Not for me.”

He also paid tribute to Levy as the club prepares to move to their new stadium.

He said: “I’m so happy and proud the faith Spurs and Levy have shown to me. That’s the most important thing for me. Today. What happened over the last day has increased expectations of the book release. But I’m happy.”

The 46-year-old had earlier been ambiguous over his future, telling Spanish newspaper El Confidencial: “When Real Madrid call you, you have to listen to them. Although in this case it doesn’t depend on me. I have just signed a long contract with Tottenham and I am very happy here.

“I am happy at Tottenham because they let me work and we are growing together. Right now I want to focus on planning for next season and keep out of all the things that are being said. There will be lots of rumours, lots of things said, but I have no news from Real Madrid.

“I’m working very comfortably at Tottenham and it’s my obligation to focus on that. I do not want, nor can I, comment on Zidane going but what he has done is undoubtedly very big: no one has won three Champions Leagues in a row recently.”

Tottenham insist there is no clause in Pochettino’s contract that allows him to leave, nor a verbal agreement that he can join Madrid.

Guardian services

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