Mauricio Pochettino Doesn't Feel He's 'Missed the Train' to Manage Real MadridMarch 18, 2019
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino says he does not feel he's "missed the train" to manage Real Madrid.
Los Blancos have been regularly linked with Pochettino this season after firing Julen Lopetegui and his replacement Santiago Solari but have now brought Zinedine Zidane back to the club on a deal that runs until June 2022.
"I don't have the feeling that I missed the Madrid train. I don't look at the long term, I'm happy and I still have four years left on my contract," he told Mundo Deportivo (h/t Alex Young and Ben Hayward at the Evening Standard).
Pochettino was also asked if Real Madrid had wanted to bring him to the Santiago Bernabeu.
"You put me in a compromising position. There are always rumours, not just with me but with other colleagues in the profession. But 90 per cent of them are false. I'm very happy at Tottenham.
"Tottenham have a different philosophy. We are really motivated for the Champions League and with the opening of the new stadium. We have a lot of confidence in what we are doing."
Tottenham were expecting a battle to keep Pochettino away from Real Madrid in the summer after he guided Spurs through the group stages of the Champions League, according to David Hytner at the Guardian.
Chris Winterburn at Marca explained why Real Madrid are attracted to the Spurs boss:
Chris Winterburn @cmwinterburn
Manchester United aren’t Real Madrid, but it’s still a weird and incredible high pressure job. This is one of the key reasons Pochettino remains the club’s clear target. Consistently cool under pressure, hardly an utterance that creates headlines and responds well to setbacks.
However, the return of Zidane, who won three Champions League titles in his first spell in charge of Real Madrid, is good news for Tottenham and their desire to keep hold of Pochettino.
Zidane has reportedly been promised a transfer budget of £300 million to overhaul his squad:
Real Madrid are not known for their patience with managers, but Zidane's track record at the club is likely to earn him time to build a new squad in the Spanish capital.
However, should the Frenchman find it tough going in his second stint, it would be little surprise to see interest in Pochettino resurface.
The 47-year-old is widely admired for the job he has done at Tottenham. He is yet to win a trophy with Spurs but has made them regulars in the Champions League on a limited budget.
He has also had to cope with the club playing at Wembley Stadium while their new stadium was built and has a great record of improving players and bringing youngsters through into the first team.