Tottenham boss Pochettino happy to quash rumours with his new deal
Mauricio Pochettino has admitted that he announced the fact that he has signed a new long-term contract at Tottenham before the end of the season in an effort to bring a sense of stability to the club and to quash any rumours that he was looking for a move.
Spurs play Chelsea tonight, needing a win at a ground where they have not won in the league since February 1990, to prolong the title race. Draw or lose and Leicester City will be champions but regardless of the result at Stamford Bridge, the Argentinian is committed to Tottenham as his five-year deal - announced last Friday - proves.
"Announcing the new contract is important for the players and potential players that will come. They won't hear rumours about whether Pochettino will be here or not," the manager said. "That is very important. I want to be involved in the future of the club."
Pochettino was on Manchester United's radar and had also been linked with Paris Saint Germain but he said he hasn't had any other offers, that the club's desire to keep him was all the assurance he needed and that now the deal has been agreed, the attention can be on the pitch and not the dugout.
"It is important that all the focus is on football and trying to win games," he said. "It is important that we concentrate on working hard to continue performing well next season."
To that end, the manager admitted he would be looking to make signings during the summer. "We are ready to compete in the market and try to add the players that can help us in the future," he said.
"Not that we need much because we have a good squad already. We are ahead in our project. Our aim is to arrive in the new stadium and play in the Champions League and to play at the top."
Pochettino agreed that the future for Tottenham looks bright. "The players want to stay here and bring this club to the new stadium and play in the Champions League. It is a collective objective," he said.
"It is very important that we keep this philosophy and the mentality we share now. This season was important - after 10 or 12 games we started to believe that we are a big club and we started to behave like a big club with good performances.
"Maybe it was missing in the first 10 games and that is now the gap with Leicester. I think the future is fantastic for Tottenham who have unbelievable supporters, a new stadium, incredible facilities and they can become a top club and fight every season to be the top club."
That is the challenge for Tottenham now. After a season where they have exceeded expectations, can they kick on and challenge for the title again or will they fade away?
That clearly excites Pochettino. "This is a good challenge," he said. "I love the challenge. This club is special. I felt the love from the very first day. Now I have a responsibility to help the club through this period with the new stadium and to arrive there with a very good team and to be competitive."