Mauricio Pochettino has played down reports that he is the leading candidate to replace Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, insisting he is focused on doing his best for Tottenham.
United are expected to appoint a caretaker manager this week to see out the rest of the season, making Pochettino bookmakers’ favourite to land the permanent position at Old Trafford after Mounrinho was sacked on Tuesday.
The Tottenham manager who has established a reputation as one of the brightest young managers in Europe refused to completely rule out any interest in the United job, which might appeal to him, considering United’s vast resources compared to Tottenhams’.
But the 46-year-old, who 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.”
Pochettino is still yet to win a trophy with Tottenham, but he has caught the eye by establishing a stylish side made up of flourishing youngsters. Plus his commitment to an attacking game-plan and his friendly relationship with his players a stark contrast to Mourinho’s acerbic personality and defensive tactics.
Pochettino wouldn’t comment on the reasons for Mourinho’s downfall, but admitted he felt sorry to see his friend get 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.”