Mauricio Pochettino has produced a very revealing interview with El Pais prior to Tottenham Hotspur’s Champions League semi-final second-leg against AFC Ajax.
The Argentine recounts the events which unfolded last summer involving both his players’ futures, and his own.
These comments follow a moment from his press conference on Tuesday in which he admitted he might leave Spurs should they go all the way in Europe this season.
Mauricio Pochettino unwilling to sacrifice his values for Real Madrid move
Pochettino has revealed that he turned down an offer from Real Madrid last summer.
Daniel Levy also rejected advances from Los Blancos and the Argentine was keen to honour his chairman’s trust.
Pochettino claims he would have gone against his principles by signing a new deal with Spurs and then leaving.
Speaking to El Pais, Pochettino revealed:
“The situation was difficult.
“The dream of every coach was at stake: to lead the biggest teams that exist. And you must say no. That is tremendous.
“It generates 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 can not accept it because I can not behave like that.
“If my president thinks I’m going to continue, I’m not going to be scared.
“Those are not my values.
“Why is it going to be good for a club to sign a coach who violates his commitments?”
Pochettino: “Players who wanted to leave: various”
Following a summer of no new signings, a number of Pochettino’s players informed him that they wanted to leave.
But instead of worrying, their desires to move on pleased him, as they were showing ambition.
The 47-year-old warned Daniel Levy to trust the players who wanted to leave as these are the type of players required at Tottenham.
When asked ‘how does it feel to reject offers from clubs like Madrid?’, Pochettino added:
“After four years, last summer a line needed to be drawn.
“Chances to sign players: none.
“Players who wanted to leave: various.
“They called me during the World Cup and said: ‘Boss, if this team wants me I’m leaving.’
“‘Speak with the chairman.’ ‘Yeah, but I’m telling you because I’m interested in playing for another team.’
“‘Good, good.’ And I said to the chairman: ‘I don’t trust the players who want to stay, but the ones who want to leave, because if they want to join a bigger club most of the time it’s because they are ambitious and want to win titles.’
“That is the type of footballer Tottenham need because this player is going to give everything he has.”
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