Last week, a rumor circulated that Mauricio Pochettino had met with FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu at a restaurant in the Catalonian capital. This set off alarm bells from Spurs supporters wondering if the meeting was a precursor to the La Liga giants poaching Pochettino this summer as they search for their new manager.
Similar (and perhaps stupider) rumors have swirled linking Pochettino to the perhaps-soon-to-be-open managerial position at Arsenal, should Arsene Wenger step down or be fired.
Today, Pochettinio put those concerns to rest pretty emphatically, saying that his experiences managing at Barca rivals Espanyol and Arsenal rivals Tottenham are such that he would never consider either role.
“ I am an Espanyol supporter and I don’t think I need to speak too much. It’s like if one day Daniel Levy sacked me, in a few years - for me it would be impossible to manage Arsenal.
“I know in football it’s sometimes difficult to keep the values and be loyal with your heart and your emotion. But for me, before being a manager and player, being loyal is more important, to be honest.
“I am an Espanyol fan, I love Espanyol, and now it’s like Tottenham. For me it would be impossible one day to move to Arsenal.”
Pochettino also clarified the encounter with Bartomeo, saying that the entire encounter was coincidence, the two are friends, and that Spurs knew about the meeting immediately after it happened.
“I don’t like to speak about rumours but that wasn’t a rumour because it was a coincidence in a bar in Barcelona last Tuesday,” he said.
“I’ve known him for a long time, before he became chairman of Barcelona. Many people around us saw us say hello, and we spent five minutes together, but that was the reality. The rumours after, it’s impossible to stop.”
Do I really believe that if Barcelona came calling with a huge contract that Pochettino would really take himself out of consideration? I don’t know. The prestige (and the money) that comes along with being the manager of Barcelona would give anyone pause. These comments are meant to assuage nervous Spurs supporters, but I’m realistic enough to know that every situation is different and that making blanket pronouncements are kind of ridiculous.
However, it’s kind of nice to hear, isn’t it?