Mauricio Pochettino insists his future lies at Tottenham and says he wants to repay the trust put in him by the club.
Spurs’ success in the Champions League this season, and in particular their sensational win over Real Madrid, has led to speculation Pochettino is destined to manage one of Europe’s powerhouse teams.
Madrid’s defeat certainly increased the pressure on Zinedine Zidane, while Pochettino raised eyebrows in April last year by telling French radio station RMC he would “one day” be open to coaching Paris St Germain.
But the Argentinian signed a new contract soon after, extending his commitment at Tottenham until 2021, and says he wants to continue his journey in north London.
“For me, the most important club in the world is Tottenham and for me, it is the best club in the world,” said Pochettino, whose side host Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Sunday.
“I need to feel like this. That emotion is real because I cannot be fake it. I cannot translate that emotion to the players, I cannot translate that emotion to my chairman, to create the trust if you don’t really believe. Today, for me, Tottenham is in my head 100 per cent.
“Today I do not change Tottenham for another position in the world because I am so involved, I am so focused, and because I think the club deserves to have people that think only about the club, the fans, the players and the structures that provide us with an unbelievable life.
“It is an amazing club, everything is amazing and it’s so important for us to pay back, no? To pay back the club in the same way that the club treat us.”
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has drawn criticism in the past for his stringent approach to transfers, but enjoys a close relationship with his manager.
Pochettino congratulated Levy personally on being named CEO of the year at the Football Business Awards last week and, when the pair recently visited the club’s new stadium, he was taken aback by his chairman’s passion for the project.
“Before I arrived to Tottenham, everyone said to me, ‘It’s so difficult to have a very good relationship with Daniel’. And after, I discovered a great man,” Pochettino said.
“Today, I feel that he trusts in me and I trust in him. That is a good point, no? And then, I don’t think too much about my future. I think about today.
“I don’t care what happens around myself because I know very well that I am so happy here and we have a great relationship.
“It’s not about win or lose, it’s about trust, and when you achieve that in a club like Tottenham, with massive potential, you must create something together to try to be strong and win.”
Pochettino is often keen to emphasise the contribution of his staff to Tottenham’s progress and, on the night after their victory over Madrid, he was touched by a message received from his assistant Jesus Perez.
“I got a very kind message from Jesus – sometimes, in between us, we don’t stop to realise what we are doing,” Pochettino said.
“In that moment, it touched me inside. It was a very good message from him. When I got home, I read it and it was difficult for me to express my feelings.
“I just messaged Jesus to say, ‘Thank you Jesus. You are a craque. [It means] You are top.’ I replied like that and he understand what I mean when I reply like this.”