Zinedine Zidane’s decision to resign as Real Madrid has certainly caused no end of problems for us, despite their being very little concrete evidence that Mauricio Pochettino could be heading for the Bernabeu.
We do know that the Argentine has no written or verbal agreement so he can speak with the La Liga club. The Times have also revealed that Daniel Levy would demand the full value of Poch’s contract (£42.5m) in compensation if they wanted to hire our manager.
Other than that, all we can go on are Pochettino’s own words about his future. Today, he has spoken in a couple of different interviews (the gist of them you can find on the Guardian here).
In each, he said pretty much the same thing. He is happy at Tottenham, he is loyal to the club and respects Daniel Levy for putting faith in him. On Real, he made one rather cryptic statement to 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.”
Essentially, he is keeping his cards close to his chest as he clearly hasn’t had any discussions with Real, but it also suggests his agent hasn’t been contacted yet either.
The second statement seems to be more clear-cut. When asked by the interviewer at his book launch whether it’s impossible to say “no” to Real, Poch replied:
“For you maybe. Not for me.”
And that’s pretty much it really so far on whether Pochettino is keen on leaving. That phrasing does suggest he is prepared to turn down a move to the Bernabeu if the Spanish club do come calling. But, on the same day as saying that, he has said he would “listen to them,” as well.
I am not particularly enjoying having to write about this, to be honest with you, but I feel we do have to be attentive of a situation which is likely to change rapidly over the coming days and weeks.
Sky Sports, the Guardian, the Daily Mail and other sources say that Real Madrid will be targeting our manager. The 13-time Champions League winners may start a charm offensive both in public and in private to try and persuade Poch into wanting to leave. We have to be prepared for a fairly lengthy period of speculation over Poch’s future.