Gary Neville believes Mauricio Pochettino has “laid the first foundations” to leave Tottenham Hotspur.
The former Manchester United defender was speaking in his role as a pundit on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football show.
Before Spurs’ clash with Manchester City, which resulted in a 1-0 win for the champions, Jamie Carragher defended Pochettino’s record at the club, insisting the Argentinian is doing an “unbelievable” job with the funds at his disposal.
Carragher’s claim was a response to Pochettino’s comments about currently experiencing his “worst feeling” as Tottenham manager since being appointed in 2014.
And Neville thinks there was an ulterior motive buried in those comments.
“Pochettino has always peddled the party line well,” Neville said (via the London Evening Standard).
“We know what Tottenham are like in terms of being quite conservative and pragmatic with spending and they do what they can, but he has always managed things well and pushed away questions about why can’t you spend like other clubs do.
“Pochettino is a brilliant coach but at some point he was always going to want to manage one of the super clubs in Europe.
“There are a couple at the moment that you can imagine will be changing manager in the next 12 months and looking at him, and he will know they are looking at him.
“It feels to me that he has laid the first foundations for a move away from the club and started to prepare the ground.”
Pochettino signed a new five-year contract with Spurs in the summer but that was before the club failed to make a single signing.
Tottenham have made their best ever start to a Premier League campaign, although they have already suffered three league defeats.
Real Madrid, who Pochettino was heavily linked with upon Zinedine Zidane’s resignation, sacked Julen Lopetegui this week – speculation about Pochettino taking over at the Bernabeu is certain to re-emerge.