Pochettino suggests he will sign new contract after stating: There’s no reason to leave Spurs
Mauricio Pochettino cannot see any reason why his star players would want to leave Tottenham this summer – and he feels the same way himself, suggesting he plans to sign a new contract with the club.
Spurs have previously lost key men to wealthier rivals, including Luka Modric and Gareth Bale, who both moved on to Real Madrid after helping the Lilywhites to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 2010.
Tottenham hope to grace Europe’s premier club competition for the second time next season as they close in on another top-four finish - and they are still in the hunt for a first league title since 1961.
If such impressive progress is to be maintained, the north Londoners will need to keep talismanic figures such as Hugo Lloris and Harry Kane – and Pochettino is confident his top talents will not be lured away.
“First of all it’s good if other clubs from England or from another country are interested in our players - it’s a signal we are performing very well,” said the head coach. “And then I think the players are very happy here.
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“It’s impossible to say [what will happen] in the future but be sure the players want to stay here, the players want success here in the future all together because their morale is great.
“Our supporters need to enjoy it, not be worried about the future because the future of Tottenham and the potential is massive.
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“I think Tottenham today is in a very good place. We have great facilities, our supporters are fantastic – why find another place? For the players, they feel at home here. I think me too.”
Asked if he would like to sign a new contract with Spurs, Pochettino said: “Yes, why not? But in the end you can see that nearly two years ago I signed a five-year contract. There are still three years and three months.”
Asked if it would be difficult to leave Tottenham, the Argentine replied: “Yes because I think you build a new stadium, you start to build the relationship - emotional relationships.
“We are a team of people, the money is not the only important thing. The emotional link you create with the people here is important, and sometimes it is difficult to take some decisions. It happened with me at Southampton too - it was difficult to take the decision to come here.”
Pochettino has handled his own contract negotiations ever since he hung up his boots and became a manager.
“The best agent for me is myself,” he said. “I negotiate for me and for my people. I fight more for them than myself.
“When I stopped playing football, I stopped my relationship with my agent. It was always one agent I had. I wanted to manage my life - but I do not disagree with the managers who have agents. I think I can deal with the offers.
“You need to ask Daniel [Levy, the Tottenham chairman] if I am strong or not.
I only have one experience [of negotiating with him] from the beginning, when I negotiated my contract.
“The difference between when you are a player and when you are a manager is that when you sign a contract as a player, if you sign for four years and if you want to be [there for that time], you are. But if you are a manager and you are sacked… you depend on your president. To be here or not to be? This is the question.”
Pochettino laughed as he quoted from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, recalling an episode from his younger years.
“I remember I was a player and it was my first date with my wife - then my girlfriend,” he said. “She said to me ‘let’s go to watch a movie at the cinema’.
“It was after a game and it was Shakespeare and I was very tired after the game. We were in the cinema and the film started - it was very boring, no?
“She was like this, [elbowing me], and I was [snoring] and ‘what happened?’ So that’s why [I laugh when I say] ‘to be or not to be?’”
Tottenham fans are asking the same question about their club’s title dream, with the Lilywhites lying seven points behind Leicester City.
Pochettino admits his side will have to be perfect in their final six matches to have any chance of overtaking the leaders - starting with a home win over Manchester United, which Spurs have not managed to achieve for 15 years – but he remains bullish about his side’s chances.
“I believe, always believe,” he said. “This is the reason why I am here now. I am very strong in my mind, always believe.
“Will we have to win every game? Yes, it is true, but I believe, when I see the players and the mentality we have.
“If it is not possible then it is not possible, this is football, but we are very confident and trust in ourselves. We are very strong and then football is a game. You can lose or you can win - but we believe.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs