Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino described meeting Sir Alex Ferguson this week as like a “dream come true” but insists the subject of Manchester United did not come up.
Pochettino met Ferguson at a restaurant in central London on Tuesday, sparking rumours the Argentinian may be a target to take over at Old Trafford.
Spurs ended the speculation on Thursday, however, by announcing Pochettino had signed a new five-year contract at White Hart Lane, extending his previous deal by two years until 2021.
The Tottenham boss has previously cited Ferguson as an example of what club stability can bring and he said speaking to the former United manager in person fulfilled a lifetime ambition.
“For me, it was a dream come true,” Pochettino said.
“When I was young, when I started my career as a manager, he was always my inspiration, my reference and when you can share two hours with a person who, for me, was the greatest manager in the world, the history of football, only you can enjoy.
“It was difficult because I wanted to stop time but it was impossible. It was fantastic.
“Did he ask about Manchester United? No. If you know Sir Alex Ferguson, he is a person we can all learn from because he has a fantastic history about football and about life.”
Pochettino’s job title has changed to ‘manager’ rather than ‘head coach’, but he said his role will remain the same and he will not have more control over transfers this summer.
Tottenham have already secured automatic qualification for next season’s Champions League but are likely to need a draw against Newcastle on Sunday if they are to stay second and finish above Arsenal.
The Gunners are two points behind, with an inferior goal difference, but they host already relegated Aston Villa this weekend and have not ended a season below Spurs since 1995.
“The supporters and their feelings are very important but we are professional,” Pochettino said.
“To move on, we need to sometimes put out the emotions, to be clever, we need to fight first to improve ourselves and be strong in our ideas.
“I can understand it, for our supporters it’s special to be above Arsenal, but I want to be second not because we’ll be above our enemy, our opponent, but because we are ambitious.
“Maybe one day Arsenal finish eighth, we finish seventh, yes we’re above but it’s not a success for us.”
Tottenham have no new injury worries ahead of the match against the Magpies, whose relegation to the Championship was confirmed on Wednesday.
Nabil Bentaleb remains out with a knee injury, while Mousa Dembele and Dele Alli are still serving bans for violent conduct.