By London correspondent Tony Hughes

The Tottenham squad joked that Mauricio Pochettino was on his way to Manchester United, according to Ben Davies.

Spurs manager Pochettino met former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson for lunch at a London restaurant earlier this month as speculation intensified over Louis van Gaal’s future at Old Trafford.

Tottenham said at the time they were aware of the meeting and had no issues with it, and Pochettino subsequently signed a new contract the next day committing himself to Spurs until 2021.

Van Gaal was eventually sacked as United manager at the start of this week to end his two-year spell at the helm and was replaced by Jose Mourinho.

Asked what the players felt when pictures emerged of Pochettino and United director Ferguson leaving a Mayfair restaurant, Davies told ESPN: “A few boys cracked jokes that he was going, but he signed a new contract the next day so all fears were out of the way.

“I like to think he [Pochettino] was tapping up his [Ferguson’s] experience and there was no ulterior motive.

“We have a club where everyone, players and staff, is trying to learn all the time.

“I think he spoke to someone like Sir Alex Ferguson to pick his brain as part of his learning and where he can improve.”

Left-back Davies, 23, was a key member of a Spurs squad that challenged for the Premier League title up until the final two matches of the season.

Although Pochettino’s team faded badly in their final four matches of the campaign, they still finished in third place to secure automatic Champions League qualification next season.

“We earned the right to be there and it’s exciting times,” Davies told ESPN. “It’s where every club wants to be playing.

“It’s everyone’s ambition to be there and we don’t have to go through the qualifying stage. I like to think we will be stronger for the experience last season.

“People experience highs and lows in football. Sometimes the lows teach you valuable lessons that hopefully we can learn from and kick on from.”

In other Tottenham news, head of recruitment Paul Mitchell has made a recommendation about a key summer signing to club chiefs.