London (AFP) – Mauricio Pochettino insists he is focused on doing his best for Tottenham amid reports he is the leading candidate to replace Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.
Tottenham manager Pochettino was installed as the bookmakers’ favourite to take charge at Old Trafford after Mourinho was sacked by United on Tuesday.
United are expected to appoint a caretaker manager this week to lead the troubled team for the rest of the season.
That would give them time to tempt Pochettino to leave Tottenham, where he has established a reputation as one of the brightest young managers in Europe during his four-year reign.
Pochettino refused to completely rule out any interest in the United job, which might appeal to him given the club’s vast resources in contrast to Tottenham, who failed to sign a single player in the summer transfer window.
But the 46-year-old, whose has led Tottenham to third in the Premier League and a place in the Champions League last 16 this season, insists he is only concerned with his current team at present.
“After nearly five years there is a lot of rumours about my position as manager at Tottenham,” Pochettino told reporters ahead of Wednesday’s League Cup quarter-final at Arsenal.
“I cannot answer this type of question because rumours happen. I want to deliver my best at this football club.”
Although Pochettino is yet to win a trophy with Tottenham, he has caught the eye by establishing a stylish side made up of flourishing youngsters and astute signings.
His commitment to an attacking game-plan and his friendly relationship with his players is a stark contrast to Mourinho’s acerbic personality and dour tactics.
Pochettino wouldn’t comment on the reasons for Mourinho’s downfall, but admitted he felt sorry to see his friend sacked after just two-and-a-half years in charge of United.
“First of all I want to send my best wishes to him. I feel so sorry,” Pochettino said.
“I have a very good relationship with Jose, he is a good friend, it is sad news.
“It is not my business what has happened in another club. I send my best wishes to Jose.”
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