The Tottenham board know elite clubs are keen to prise Mauricio Pochettino away and it’s inevitable he will quit the club eventually, according to Noel Whelan.
The ex-Leeds United and Coventry City striker hailed the Argentine as one of the world’s best managers and insisted he could walk into Real Madrid or Barcelona and hoover up trophies.
Pochettino signed a five-year Spurs contract last year to extend his association with the club that started in 2014 and has steered them to this season’s Champions League semi-finals.
He has been strongly linked with Manchester United and Real this season as well as Italian giants AC Milan and French big guns Paris Saint-Germain.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, Whelan is convinced Pochettino will remain at White Hart Lane next season but doesn’t anticipate he will stay for too much longer than that.
“The board will know he is wanted by the bigger clubs,” Whelan said. “They know they will not be able to him back at certain times in his career, and he will eventually leave.
“He is a brilliant manager. I think he is already a better manager than Jose Mourinho, even though Mourinho has won all those trophies and Pochettino has not.
“But look at the clubs he’s managed – Espanyol, Southampton and Tottenham, where they’re in the most competitive league in the world and up against clubs with much bigger budgets.
“If Pochettino went to Real Madrid or Barcelona, he would win trophy after trophy. He hasn’t taken that route yet, but you can’t say he hasn’t been successful at Tottenham.”
Pochettino is in his fifth season at Spurs and is on the verge on steering them to fourth consecutive top-four finish to secure qualification again for next season’s Champions League.