Pochettino to see out season

Mauricio Pochettino will reassess his Southampton position at the end of the season.

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Mauricio Pochettino will reassess his Southampton position at the end of the season.

The Argentinian boss has refused to pledge his long-term future to St Mary's in the wake of executive chairman Nicola Cortese's resignation.

Pochettino ruled out following Cortese out of Southampton before the end of the current campaign, but offered no further assurances.

The 41-year-old questioned owner and now interim chairman Katharina Liebherr's ability to recruit a suitable chief executive to replace Cortese and fight Southampton's mounting transfer battles.

The former Espanyol boss vowed no one will leave Southampton during the transfer window without his blessing, but Manchester City are circling teenage talent Luke Shaw and West Ham are closing in on England striker Rickie Lambert.

Press Association Sport understands Cortese harbours deep ambitions to take up another post in English football.

The 45-year-old is also clearly keen to reprise his double act with Pochettino, with sources describing the duo as having a very strong bond.

Southampton's manager himself will not be making any snap decisions, but admitted it would be folly not to consider working under Cortese in future.

"It would make no sense for me to leave this club in the middle of the season, no one would understand it," said Pochettino.

"I'm pretty sure Nicola would not understand that decision from me.

"I will finish the season and then we will see what happens.

"It is clear that at the end of the season we will assess the situation at the club, and then we will decide whether it will be apt for me to stay here for another season.

"Until the end of the season if the owners want me to be the manager, then I will be the manager at this club.

"When people change, things change, it's inevitable that will happen, but I am still committed to this club for now.

"I don't know what's going to happen in the future.

"It's clear Nicola has great charisma, he has great charm, and also a tough character; he's a very driven person.

"He's a great negotiator, so what else can you add, he's already the full package."


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Katharina Liebherr inherited control of Southampton after her father Markus' death in August 2010.

Construction machinery magnate Markus Liebherr guided Southampton out of administration in 2009, holding a long-term ambition of securing Champions League football.

Cortese joined the club to make that happen, but is understood to have had a difference of long-term vision with new owner Katharina Liebherr that led to his exit.

Southampton take on Sunderland in Barclays Premier League action at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, with Pochettino unsure whether the new non-executive chairman will attend, or meet the players.

"In the five minutes that I spoke with her (on Thursday) she did not tell me whether she was coming, and she did not tell me whether she would speak with the players," he said.

"My opinion would be to say yes, I think it would be important for her to be visible at the game, but that's her personal decision, she's chairman for a reason and she can make her own decision.

"I have to be honest it's only the second time I've met with her.

"At the end of last season Nicola invited the entire staff to an end-of-season party, that's where I met her, and today was the second time we've met."

Businesswoman Liebherr has never hidden her lack of football knowledge.

Pochettino admitted he hopes she will surround herself with lieutenants experienced in the sport, now that Cortese has left St Mary's.

"I would imagine that those kinds of people have people around them who do know about football, like myself," he said.

"It's not up to me when the chairman speaks to me, it's up to her to speak to me as she pleases.

"On a personal basis I would not be in agreement to sell any player we do not want to sell."


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