Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has for the first time admitted he probably would quit the club if they had won the Champions League.
Poch has had five seasons at Spurs and has established the club as a force to reckon in both England and Europe, with the climax of his career to date being guiding Tottenham to last season’s Champions League final.
But a 2-0 loss to Liverpool in Madrid prevented the Argentine from quitting his position at the club.
Asked about it, Pochettino said: “Maybe if it was a different result after the final you can think, ‘OK, maybe this is a moment to step out of the club, leave the club and give them the possibility of a really new chapter with a new coaching staff”.
“But after the final I felt this was not great to finish like this. I’m not a person that avoids facing problems or a difficult situation.
“I love a massive challenge, a difficult challenge and of course now to rebuild that mentality to make it possible to repeat a similar season, that is exciting and motivates me a lot.”
But if Spurs could have won, he admitted: “For sure.
“You know very much when you touch glory you behave differently or you feel different or the players feel different and the challenge becomes different.”
Spurs have added club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele to their ranks, but rumours about Christian Eriksen’s exit still persist.
Asked about his thoughts on Eriksen, Pochettino replied:
“It’s difficult for me to talk for the comment of the player, I wasn’t there, I don’t know. To be honest during my holiday I didn’t want to listen and see the media.
Spurs have also sold Kieran Trippier to Atletico Madrid, but the manager insists it was the player’s wish to leave and find a new challenge.
“It was Kieran’s decision. He communicate the day before we travelled here and he told me that he accept an offer from Atletico Madrid and in the end it was the club who communicated with me that they had agreed a deal. I wasn’t involved in all this discussion in the last week.
“He loved to be at Tottenham and work with us but at 28, 29, sometimes a player needs to discover need things and new challenges.”
It is also understood that left-back Danny Rose was left out of pre-season tour to look for a new destination.
The manager, however, distanced himself from such claims, suggesting that it Daniel Levy and player’s agents who are dealing with Rose’s situation as well as Vincent Jansen and Nkoudou.
“Danny is still our player and of course for different reasons (Georges-Kevin) Nkoudou and Vincent Janssen they deal with the club with, of course with Daniel (Levy) and the agents to take a little bit more time there to fix different problems.
“After 10 days after we play Man United and Juventus, when we come back to London if they are, they are going to be in a normal way with the team.
“It’s about expectation, challenge, it’s about a player-club decision. Of course, it’s difficult for me like in the past in the last five years to be involved in this type of decision It is more of a club decision but we need to listen to the player and the club is going to do what the club need to do in every circumstance.
“I told Daniel (Levy) ‘I’m going to be happy with the squad which you provide me to work’. I am a happy man working with 25 players only, we are going to have 25 players to work with for sure. I was happy and I am going to be happy.”