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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 April 2019

Mauricio Pochettino refuses to engage in 'rumours' over Manchester United's reported interest

Tottenham manager widely reported as the top target to replace Jose Mourinho

Mauricio Pochettino said he was "sorry" to hear Jose Mourinho had been sacked by Manchester United. Reuters
Mauricio Pochettino said he was "sorry" to hear Jose Mourinho had been sacked by Manchester United. Reuters

Mauricio Pochettino has said he is ignoring the "rumours" of Manchester United's reported interest as the Tottenham Hotspur manager prepares his side for the League Cup quarter-final against rivals Arsenal.

Following the departure of Jose Mourinho as United manager on Tuesday, Pochettino has been widely reported as the club's top target to replace the Portuguese in the long-term. An interim manager is expected to fill the void until the end of the season.

That would, in theory, give United 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.

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Pochettino refused to completely rule out any interest in the United job, which might appeal to him given the club's vast resources compared to Tottenham, who failed to sign any players in the summer transfer window.

But the 46-year-old Argentine, whose has led Tottenham to third in the Premier League and a place in the Uefa 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 said 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."

Updated: December 18, 2018 06:24 PM

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