Pochettino staying - for now

Maurico Pochettino says he cannot guarantee he will be at Southampton beyond the end of this season.

Last Updated: 17/01/14 at 10:51 Post Comment

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Pochettino has pledged "100 per cent" to see out the current campaign at St Mary's despite the resignation of boardroom ally Nicola Cortese on Wednesday.

The Argentine's short-term commitment is at odds with his stance last May, when he said it would "make no sense" to remain at Southampton without Cortese.

The pair have spoken since Cortese quit over differences with the club's owner Katharina Liebherr, and Pochettino says his former chairman endorsed his decision to stay.

But pressed on his long-term future the manager, who has 17 months left on his deal, said: "It's only normal that we finish the season and then we'll see next season what happens. That's only normal.

"It's clear that at the end of the season we will assess the situation at the club."

By that time Pochettino could have a new chairman to work under, and some supporters fear a new regime could seek to cash in on the club's young English talent.

Left-back Luke Shaw continues to be linked with Chelsea, but Pochettino was unequivocal when asked about transfers on Thursday.

He said: "I want to make one thing clear - no one is for sale at Southampton. No one. My viewpoint hasn't changed from a week ago. No player that I don't want to leave will leave."

Asked why he had not made good on his vow of eight months ago - to follow Cortese through the exit - he said: "They are completely different situations. Eight months ago I was finishing my first season, and I did say it would make no sense for me to be here without Nicola.

"Now we're in the middle of our project and it's a completely different situation."

Relationship

Pochettino confirmed he had spoken to Cortese about his decision but would not say whether it took a pep-talk from the Italian to persuade him to stay.

"What's quite clear is that I have a good relationship with him," he said. "He agrees with my decision to stay and there's nothing else I can say at the moment.

"He only asked me for one thing and that's to try and win on Saturday."

Some reports this week suggested Liebherr's desire to sell Southampton had contributed to a deteriorating relationship with Cortese, but Pochettino stonewalled when asked why his boardroom ally had resigned.

"I do not know the answer," he said. "It's difficult to say. I found out about his decision just as you did."

Questions about Liebherr's plans for the club met with a similar response, but the manager did reveal he retains the full support of the owner.

He said: "I spoke to her five minutes ago, and she transmitted her full trust, not just to me but to my staff and the people working here. We haven't had much time to think about the future."

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