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Rumours happen: Mauricio Pochettino refuses to discuss Manchester United

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Old pals: Jose Mourinho and Spurs’ Mauricio Pochettino

Old pals: Jose Mourinho and Spurs’ Mauricio Pochettino

Old pals: Jose Mourinho and Spurs’ Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino admitted that he has to "accept rumours" after finding himself linked with the Manchester United job.

Tottenham boss Pochettino, speaking just hours after his friend Jose Mourinho was dismissed by United, shrugged that such speculation was just "part of our business".

United will look for an interim manager this week for the rest of the season, but they will want a long-term appointment this summer and Pochettino is thought to be their preferred candidate.

Pochettino's response when asked yesterday was to allow the rumours to wash over him, accepting them like the weather rather than engaging with them directly.

"After nearly five years a lot of rumours have happened about my position as manager of Tottenham," Pochettino said.

"I cannot answer this type of question. These rumours happen in football. I respect everyone's opinion, when people praise me, when angry with me, when they say different things. We know rumours happen."

The closest Pochettino came to dealing with the content of the rumours was to re-emphasise that he is busy being Tottenham manager and that he does not have the time or the energy to think about other jobs.

"It is not my business what happens at another club," Pochettino said. "I am so focused to deliver our best job at this club. We have very busy fixtures ahead, another derby, so important, the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup (against Arsenal). All the people will understand we are focused."

Asked whether he would like to give a more direct answer to the Spurs fans who want to hear him commit to staying, Pochettino said that he did not need to give them another such assurance, and that he would accept the atmosphere of rumours around his job.

"What more do I need to say after nearly five years? From day one, not only in the coaching staff, the players, there are a lot of rumours in football. Today, it's like this. I accept everything. I accept rumours when they're positive, or when they're negative. I accept opinion when you win and you lose. That is part of our business," he said.

Pochettino was linked to the United job in May 2016, before Mourinho was appointed, famously having lunch with Sir Alex Ferguson in Mayfair just two days before signing a new contract at White Hart Lane. Pochettino has never revealed what was discussed at that lunch but said again yesterday just how important Sir Alex was to him.

"Sir Alex was and is and always will be an inspiration, and to have the possibility to meet him was amazing," he said.

"It was fantastic to share a moment. He gave us a massive belief and confirmed that in the way we work that all is possible. He won his first title with Man United in his seventh year. It's massive inspiration for myself and a nice moment."

Belfast Telegraph


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