Mauricio Pochettino has admitted he turned down the chance to become Real Madrid’s new manager last summer.
The Tottenham boss was linked with the Real Madrid job last June after Zinedine Zidane left his post at the Bernabeu.
Madrid eventually appointed Julen Lopetegui instead. The former Spain manager was replaced by Santiago Solari, who was in turn replaced by Zidane – the circle of life.
Pochettino had recently signed a new five-year contract with Spurs when he began to be linked with the vacant post at the Bernabeu.
What’s more, reports at the time suggested Madrid did not want to enter difficult negotiations with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy over buying Pochettino out of his deal.
In an interview this week, Pochettino suggested those two reasons are why he turned down Madrid.
“The situation was difficult,” Pochettino said (via the London Evening Standard).
“The dream of every coach was at stake: to lead the biggest team that exists. And you must say no. That is momentous. It creates a conflict. Because you know that if a coach wants to leave, he leaves.
“But I had just signed a renewal with Tottenham. And I felt that I could not do anything. Daniel Levy did not accept the offers to free me and if they ask me to break the contract I cannot accept it because I cannot behave like that.
“If my chairman thinks I’m going to continue, I’m not going to run off. Those are not my values. Why is it going to be good for a club to sign a coach who violates his commitments?”
The Argentinian’s quotes have taken some of the attention away from other comments he made about his Spurs future this week.
Pochettino suggested he could leave the Londoners if he manages to lead the team to Champions League glory – read more here.
Tottenham face Ajax in the semi-final second leg tonight.