Respected journalist and mostly known from his work with Sky Sports and now the BBC, Guillem Balague has claimed this week that Real Madrid failed in an approach for Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Following the departure of Zinedine Zidane from the Santiago Bernabeu, they eventually appointed Julen Lopetegui, but Balague claims Poch was ahead of him on their shortlist but our Argentine gaffer rejected their approaches personally.
Whether or not fans should read into this that Poch rebuffed them through the back door of his agent or whether the club asked him before deciding on permission to speak is maybe irrelevant. All that counts is he showed loyalty and didn’t jump ship knowing his Spurs project is ticking along nicely.
Obviously, fans are delighted with the news even if we don’t know specifics.
Writing in his new BBC Column he revealed.
“Real Madrid went for Lopetegui not because he was their manager of choice but because the likes of Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino and Juve’s Massimiliano Allegri had turned them down.”
He’s one of our own. In Poch we trust. #COYS
— Dylan (@dylan_thfc) September 7, 2018
— John Tiffany (@johnetiffany18) September 7, 2018
That was before Levy stitched him up in transfer window, next time we might not be so lucky!! But he’s a great guy though, with backing & trust in his chairman, he stays.
— TUNDE OSOLAKE (@TUNDERINO) September 8, 2018
Next time he will be gone !!
— Richard Francis (@rrrgfrancis) September 8, 2018
— Barry Nevin (@bazzayiddo) September 7, 2018
We are not worthy
— MenacingMoura (@MenacingMoura) September 7, 2018
After 4 games? pic.twitter.com/nJzpzS0Z5u
— UnpopularOpinion (@Unpopul81283295) September 7, 2018
In reference to the comments above about whether or not Poch would make the same choice again following the summer we’ve had, I’m slightly more pragmatic about things. The summer stands out for all the wrong reasons, but probably as a consequence of the Stadium rebuild taking up too much attention.
What fans don’t know is how involved Poch has actually been and what his true desires for the transfer market were. He could’ve easily dropped hints if he was unhappy, but he doesn’t seem to be, so I can’t naturally read into we’ll have problems keeping him in the future as long as his plan for the club ticks over the way he wants.
January could answer a lot but Poch has already spoken about a preference for leaning on our youth and not engaging in lavish spending unless there’s a particular gem available, so I really don’t see that would’ve changed as his mindset so my assumption is he’s not that bothered about the summer.