Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino’s apparent joke about where his team would stay in Madrid for the Champions League final appears to have backfired – and prompted Real Madrid to release an official statement.
The Argentine, who has been linked with a move to the Bernabeu in the past, was discussing Spurs’ plans for the final against Liverpool at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on 1 June.
“Ahead of the final, we will train at Valdebebas [Real’s training complex] and sleep in a nearby hotel,” he told El Partidazo de Cope.
“I asked Florentino [Perez, Real’s president] to let us sleep in the sports centre, but he told me that I can only sleep there when I become the coach of Real Madrid.”
Cue a “Comunicado Oficial” from the 13-time European champions, who re-appointed manager Zinedine Zidane in March.
Real said they were “surprised by the demonstrations” made by Pochettino about a “supposed request” to stay at their training ground.
“Real Madrid wants to make it clear that it is outright false that this request was produced,” they said.
They said they had “always shown its absolute availability” to meet the requests of Uefa, Spurs and Liverpool and requests were only for “the use of the training camps of the Ciudad Real Madrid and its changing rooms”.
Tottenham will be training at Real on 30 and 31 May and Liverpool will use the facilities on the morning of 1 June.
“At no time has our club been requested that these teams could be accommodated in the facilities of Ciudad Real Madrid,” they added.
Pochettino, who has four years left on his contract, has previously hinted he could leave Spurs if they win the European Cup.
He has also said he would be “stupid” to stay at the club if they expect similar levels of success without changing the way they are run – having not signed a player since 31 January 2018.
But he told the Spanish radio show: “I will not make decisions about my future [until] after the final, it is important to know what the club’s future plan is.
“Real Madrid? I have no other goals if I am not training Tottenham; football takes you where you deserve.”