MAURICIO POCHETTINO has brushed off speculation linking him to Real Madrid and insisted he is happy at Tottenham.
Spanish giants Real are looking for a new boss to replace Zinedine Zidane, who quit this week after guiding Madrid to a third-straight Champions League triumph.
Zidane decided to stand down in spite of Saturday’s 3-1 Champions League final victory over Liverpool, with Pochettino since installed as the favourite to replace the ex-France playmaker.
After launching his book ‘A New World’ in Spain, Pochettino insisted he wants to stay on at Tottenham, having signed a new five-year contract in May.
“I take it naturally, it does not affect me at all, I am involved in a spectacular project where the motivation is tremendous,” Pochettino told Spanish sports daily AS.
“I renewed my contract recently for another five years, I am happy that people at Tottenham are happy with me.
“I live in the present, that is the most important thing. I enjoy what is happening and what has to be will be.”
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) May 27, 2018
Zidane explained his decision to leave Madrid less than a week after claiming a third Champions League title in a row as “time to go out at the top” in Thursday’s press conference.
Real’s LaLiga struggles, finishing third and 17 points behind fierce rivals Barcelona, no doubt factored in World Cup winner Zidane’s decision.
Pochettino quickly shot to the top of bookmakers’ lists for Zidane’s replacement, despite only signing that new deal with Spurs last week.
It is understood that there is no buy-out clause in Pochettino’s new Spurs deal, and no verbal agreement with chairman Daniel Levy that the 46-year-old could leave if Madrid come calling.
Gracias Zidane. pic.twitter.com/LeKwQm54td
— Real Madrid C.F.⚽ (@realmadrid) May 31, 2018
Zidane was understood to be under contract at Madrid until 2020.
Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, Italian Maurizio Sarri and Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp have all been linked to Madrid, alongside Pochettino.
Germany boss Joachim Low meanwhile has ruled himself out of the running to become the next Real manager.
Low told a Germany press conference: “I can completely rule it out. I’m sure they will find a strong successor but that is not for me to worry about.
“I am here with Germany in the World Cup now.”