By Richard Parks
Tottenham removed the release clause from Mauricio Pochettino’s contract when he agreed a new deal, according to Guillem Balague.
The Sky Sports Spanish pundit and transfer expert made the revelation as he dismissed the likelihood of the Spurs manager quitting to take over at Real Madrid in the summer.
In a question-and-answer session on the Sky Sports website (12.56pm), Balague explained three reasons why it is unlikely to happen.
“Firstly, Pochettino is creating something special at Spurs,” the journalist said. “Why would he leave?
“Secondly, his new contract (from May 2016) took off the buy-out clause he had in the previous one, which means you have to convince Daniel Levy to let him go. Good luck with that!
“Thirdly, a rumour has been doing the rounds – maybe Zidane wants to leave after this season as there is not much he can win at the club? Then it is time to look for a replacement. [Joachim] Low is admired by Florentino Perez, so are others that are under contract. But there is not one outstanding candidate just yet.”
Pochettino took over as Spurs manager in the summer of 2014 and then signed a new contract towards the end of the 2015/16 season after transforming the fortunes of the team.
Football Insider verdict:
It will be of great comfort to Tottenham fans that Balague’s revelation means there is no release clause in the manager’s current contract. As he points out, any prospective employer would need to negotiate a deal with Levy, which, as many football chairmen and executives have found, is about as much fun as pulling teeth. Spurs are in the driving seat now, and the car is purring along very nicely with Pochettino at the wheel. Real Madrid are the biggest club in the world, but the job prospects are short term, as even the very best have found to their cost. The Argentine is far better off working his magic at Tottenham, who are on the up and destined to stay there if he sticks around.
In other Tottenham news, a sensational swap deal with fourth-placed club is on the cards in a shock development.