By Editor Wayne Veysey | Former Evening Standard, Press Association and Goal chief correspondent with 18 years experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this

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Tottenham have opened talks with Mauricio Pochettino on a deal to make him the best-paid manager in the club’s history, Football Insider sources understand.

Spurs are aware that the Argentinian is one of the hottest properties in the market after transforming the fortunes of the north Londoners.

Pochettino played down talk about a contract extension in the wake of Tottenham’s 2-0 win over Aston Villa on Sunday but, behind the scenes, club chiefs have made the first moves to tie the manager down to an extended deal.

Real Madrid are among the clubs keeping close tabs on Pochettino, whose current contract, signed when he took over at White Hart Lane in the summer of 2014, runs until 2019.

A Tottenham source has told Football Insider that the club, led by chairman Daniel Levy, are willing to double his £3.5million-a-year salary to £7million-a-year.

Talks have begun on a new five-year deal that will be worth £35million and make Pochettino the club’s best-ever paid manager.

Curiously, that accolade belongs to Juande Ramos, who earned £6million-a-year during his short spell as Spurs boss.

Levy is keen to reward Pochettino for guiding the club to second place, and within two points of leaders Leicester, even though they have made a profit in the transfer market since his arrival two years ago.

Tottenham have genuine hopes of winning their first league title in more than 50 years and are almost certain to clinch a top-four spot that guarantees qualification for next season’s Champions League.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy negotiated a first-option clause in Gareth Bale deal

Wheeler dealer: Levy will make Pochettino the club’s top-paid boss

Speaking on Sunday, Pochettino told Sky Sports: “[My future] is not important. We need to fight every day and arrive at the end of the season in good condition.

“The club and the supporters deserve us to do our job. The most important thing is to keep working hard.

“I have three years left on my contract so it is not a big problem. I’m enjoying it a lot, we’re in a very good position with the team and the supporters.”

In other Tottenham news, former Spurs goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes has delivered a scathing assessment of Arsenal’s title chances after his Watford side knocked them out of the FA Cup on Sunday.